Westchester Named One of New York’s Healthiest Counties
According to the annual check-up Westchester is fighting fit, but there are still a few areas for improvement.
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Recent numbers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute show that, out of New York’s 62 distinct counties, Westchester ranks among the highest across the board. Here are the number’s you’ll want to know:
The Good Numbers
Life Expectancy — 83.5 years
Ranking only behind Manhattan (by a paltry year), Westchester has the second-longest lifespan of any county in New York, 2.3 years longer than the state average.
Resident-to-Physician Ratio — 720:1
In a state where the standard is 1,200 residents per doctor, a ratio or 720:1 is excellent. Westchesterites also reported ratios for dentists of 920:1 (average 1,230:1) and mental health providers of 280:1 (average 370:1). As a result, locals have reported fewer-than average preventable hospital stays, poor physical/mental health days, teen births, STI rates, lower prevalence of adult smoking, adult obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes and HIV, and high-than-average rates of mammographic screenings, influenza vaccination, and access to exercise opportunities.
Child & Infant Mortality Rates — 20-25% below average
Numbers you don’t want to see high, Westchester experienced just 30 deaths per 100,000 of individuals younger than 18 last year, far below the state average of 40. Likewise, the infant mortality rate (those within the first year of life only, measured per thousand) was only 4, compared to a state average of 5.
The “Let’s Keep an Eye on It” Numbers
Uninsured Residents — 8%
While still showing solid overall decline, the state average uninsured rate has fallen even farther, to 7%.
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Alcohol-related Issues — Exactly Average
Westchester residents reported a 19% incidence of excessive drinking among adults, and a 21% incidence of alcohol impairment in driving-related deaths. These numbers are exactly on par with New York State averages, but significantly higher than the 13% rates seen in the nation’s top-performing counties.
The “We Need to Do Better” Numbers
If measured only by environmental factors like air and water quality, long commutes, housing stress and other related factors, Westchester County would rank 60th out of all 62 New York Counties.
Severe Housing Issues — 1 in 4
While only 1% higher than the state average, a 25% “severe housing issues” rate means one quarter of all Westchester residents are dealing with overcrowding, high housing costs, and a lack of proper kitchen or plumbing facilities. The top-performing counties in the U.S., by the by, have a SHI rate of around 9%.
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Long and Lonely Commutes
Despite the environmental and social benefits of carpooling or taking mass transit, 58% of Westchesterites reportedly commute alone, and 41% say their commute takes longer than 30 minutes. (3 and 5% higher than the state average, respectively.)
Westchester County with its bustling cities and proximity to Manhattan, has a particulate air pollution level of about 10.4 parts per cubic meter, significantly higher than the state average of 8.5 and the nation’s top performers at 6.1.
Read More: 6 Small Changes You Can Make to Live Greener