Mar 26, 2024 - News

San Francisco's rank in health outcomes

<span style="text-align: center; display: block"> 2024 County Health Factors rankings</span>
Data: County Health Rankings; Note: Factors include prevalence of healthy behaviors, quality of clinical care, socioeconomic indicators and physical environment; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

San Francisco has among the best health outcomes in the nation when it comes to factors like the quality of clinical care, socioeconomic indicators and physical environment, according to a new report.

Why it matters: Our county, which comprises only the city of San Francisco, has a lower rate of premature death, a higher life expectancy and a lower share of adults who report that they're in poor physical health than the average U.S. county.

  • That's according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Zoom in: San Francisco's premature age-adjusted mortality is lower than the average U.S. county at 270 deaths per 100,000 people age 75 or younger — though that figure increases significantly for Black, Hispanic and Indigenous residents, per the report.

Yes, but: San Francisco County has a much higher rate of HIV prevalence — 1,590 of every 100,000 residents 13 and older compared with 382 for the average U.S. county.

  • Its rate of drug overdose deaths is also more than twice the rate of the average U.S. county.
  • San Francisco also ranked lower than the average U.S. county on several other health behaviors, including adult smoking, adult obesity and physical inactivity.

Between the lines: Although San Francisco gets overall high scores when it comes to health outcomes, those outcomes aren't always distributed equally.

  • The county also ranked below the average U.S. county on some physical environment and socioeconomic factors.
  • In San Francisco, 23% of households experienced severe housing problems, defined as overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities or a lack of plumbing facilities. That's compared with 17% nationally.

What they're saying: Counties with strong civic infrastructure, such as broadband internet access and public libraries, "are often healthier," the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program said in a recent news release.

  • "On the other hand, exclusionary practices, such as laws and practices that limit voting and organized labor, can be detrimental to health."

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