Lewis Diuguid

March 27, 2014

Jackson and Wyandotte counties rank at bottom in new report

A new ranking of the health of area counties should enable elected officials to know where best to direct the community’s resources to help people in need.

The health rankings of Kansas City area counties in a new study should tell area elected officials where improvements are needed most.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute rankings looked at 29 factors, including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods.

“The

Rankings

show us that people living in the least healthy counties have twice the premature death rates than those living in the healthiest counties,” the study notes. “There are also twice as many children living in poverty and teen births in the least healthy counties as in the healthiest counties.”

It’s not surprising that Johnson County is the healthiest county in Kansas. It also is among the wealthiest counties in the country.

Platte County ranked fourth among Missouri’s 115 counties. Clay County was No. 12, and Cass County was No. 15.

Wyandotte County ranked 96th among Kansas’ 98 ranked counties. Jackson County was 75th in Missouri.

Those are the two most racially and ethnically diverse counties in this metropolitan area and they also are the ones that need immense amounts of resources to improve living conditions and outcomes for all children and families.

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