RWJF, Univ. of Wisconsin Issue 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Report

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute this week released the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmap Report, which assesses the health status of all counties in the United States. The Rankings help counties understand what influences how healthy residents are and how long they will live. By examining a wide variety of measures that impact the health of communities, including high school graduation rates, access to healthy foods, rates of smoking, obesity, and teen births, the Rankings allow counties to garner support for local health improvement initiatives and activities.

Notable findings from the 2019 County Health Rankings Report include:

  • More than one in 10 households (11 percent) spend more than half of their income on housing costs in the U.S., leaving little money left to pay for other items that are essential to good health, such as healthy foods, medicine, or transportation to work or school
  • Severe housing cost burden, on average, is highest in large urban metropolitan counties and lowest in rural counties
  • Families that face high cost burden, insecure housing, forced moves, or homelessness are more likely to experience poor mental and/or physical health and preventable hospitalizations

The Rankings detail potential effective approaches to improve county health in the report, such as facilitating access to resources needed to secure affordable housing, providing services and supports to increase housing stability and reduce the risk of homelessness, and making communities more inclusive and connected.

Additional information on the Rankings, including how your jurisdiction ranks, is available from RWJF here.