Why Franklin County's high cost of living takes a toll on residents' health
The better a community's economic outlook, the healthier its people.
- That's the main takeaway from new county health rankings released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Where we stand: Franklin County ranks middle-of-the-pack among Ohio's 88 counties in a comprehensive review of health factors and outcomes.
- More than one-third of Franklin County residents are obese, and the county also recorded high rates of drug overdose deaths and sexually-transmitted infections.
- Rising housing, child care and health care costs mean one-in-five Franklin County children live in poverty.
- Families here spend 34% of their incomes on child care, an alarming total that prevents residents from saving for emergencies and retirement.
Yes, but: The county does, however, have more doctors, dentists and mental health providers available to residents than most other areas of Ohio.
Meanwhile, neighboring Delaware County ranks as the healthiest county in Ohio.
- The median household income there is nearly double the state's, making quality child care vastly more affordable and leading to just a 3% child poverty rate.
- More residents there are insured, received flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, have access to healthy foods and get enough sleep each night, data shows.
The bottom line: Higher wages would go a long way toward improving health care access and result in better health outcomes, researchers assert.
- "Building economic security is imperative for health."
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