Report reveals health inequity by county in California
The recently released 2018 California County Health Rankings Report reveals health disparities throughout the state.
The report ranks 57 counties in California based off measurements of health outcomes and health factors. As a whole, the healthiest counties in California are along the coast and clustered around Southern California and in the Bay Area. The least healthy counties are grouped in Northern California and away from the coast.
Health outcomes are measurements of how long people live, how healthy they feel, and the health measurements of newborns. The healthiest counties based on length and quality of health are Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Placer. Lowest county ranking for health outcomes are Lake, Siskiyou, and Plumas.
The report also evaluated disparities in health outcomes based on race/ethnicity.
The report also measured health factors which it defines as “focus areas that drive how long and how well we live.” These factors include health behaviors (such as tobacco or alcohol abuse or diet/exercise), access to care, social and economic factors, and the quality of the physical environment.
The county rankings for health factors are similar to health outcomes rankings, with highest rankings going to Bay Area counties. However, more of the worst counties in terms of health factors are in Southern California.
The report specifically dives into rates of childhood poverty, high school graduation, health insurance, and teen births – all of which are related to an individual’s health. In California, 20 percent of children are living in poverty, which matches the national rate. However, based on county, the poverty rate for children ranges from 8 percent (San Mateo) to 37 percent (Fresno).
High school graduation rates range from 30 percent (Inyo) to 94 percent (Calaveras) and teen birth rates range from 8 per 1000 (Marin) to 50 per 1000 (Del Norte).
To improve health across all communities in California, the report outlines four main strategies:
- Investing in education from early childhood into adulthood
- Increasing supplement income for low income households
- Improving access to affordable health care coverage
- Improving social connections within communities
To explore the data further, county comparisons for a variety of health factors can be found here.
|County||Health Outcomes||Health Factors|
|San Luis Obispo||13||10|