How Healthy is Jefferson County?

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) — A recent report by a national publication ranks thousands of counties across the United States, including those in this region.

Healthiest Communities is an interactive destination for consumers and policymakers, developed by U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation.

Backed by in-depth research and accompanied by news and analysis, the site features comprehensive rankings drawn from an examination of nearly 3,000 counties and county equivalents on 80 metrics across 10 categories, informing residents, health care leaders and officials about local policies and practices that drive better health outcomes for all.

Data were gathered and analyzed by the University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems.

Ratings were from 1 to 100 on 10 major categories, including health of the population, equity, education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality, and infrastructure.

Jefferson County’s overall rating is 53.5, placing it below the state average of 57.8 and above the national rating of 52.3.

“It doesn’t take a rating to know this area needs help,” County Commissioner Jack Matson said. “It’s why I ran for public office. We need input and help from the community, and we’re working to help the community.”

“We’re working with area businesses to keep them here and to try and bring in others. We’ve been active with schools, such as Jeff Tech, that they may tailor their curriculum so students can study subjects that will lead to jobs in this area,” Matson said.

Its highest rating was 69, in equity, which assessed income, education, health and social equality to determine how well all members of a community are afforded the opportunity to live a productive, healthy life.

It also rated well in public safety at 65.

The lowest ratings occurred in economy at 42, health of the population at 44, and education at 46.

Neighboring counties in the region rated similar with the exception of Butler, which received a 73.4. Elk County was at 59.6, Warren was at 58.3, Mercer at 53.2, Armstrong at 51.9 and Clearfield at 50.7.

To see the entire report, go to www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/pennsylvania/jefferson-county


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