The latest edition of the County Health Rankings was released this week, and the analysis included a segregation measure because it has “been linked to poor health outcomes, including greater infant and adult mortality, and a wide variety of reproductive, infectious, and chronic diseases,” the report authors write (Source: “Segregation, inequality reflected in Ohio’s poor county health rankings,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 16, 2016).
Overall, Ohio scored 70 out of 100 on the black/white segregation index—near the higher end (any score above 60 is considered extremely high segregation). Nationally, Midwest and Northeast states fared worst overall.
“Highly segregated neighborhoods tend to have environmental hazards, often elevated crime levels, and segregated residents in general have fewer opportunities for good education or a job that pays a living wage, or access to health care and healthy food,” said Marjory Givens, associate scientist with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
The 7th annual report shows that residents of Delaware County rank highest in both overall health outcomes and health factors.