Northeast Florida health rankings by county

Low birthweight is a key indicator of a healthy start and quality of life. According to the 2018 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report, a report completed under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United States’ percentage of babies born at a low birthweight is on the rise, but Northeast Florida counties still tend to rank average.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The state average for babies born at a low birthweight is 9 percent and only Duval and Baker counties are above the state with 10 percent – and Northeast Florida Healthy Start is striving towards bringing that down.

Even though Northeast Florida counties are about average, the state of Florida has a higher percentage of low birth weight babies than the national percentage of 8.2; significant racial disparity plays a role in the rising numbers both locally and nationwide.

Demographics matter to health and health rankings. This year the report has added the gaps amongst racial and ethnic groups to show that people of color have the highest rates of babies born with a low birthweight across all fifty states, as well as illustrated many types of discriminatory policies. Failure to close those gaps has caused the nation’s rates of low birthweights to rise.

According to March of Dimes, many risk factors have been linked to low birthweight such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, drinking, opioid and substance abuse and exposure to air pollution or lead. In many Northeast Florida counties these risk factors are very prevalent, especially in urban, low income populations where our minorities live. Statistics are shown from the report with the counties strengths and weaknesses.

                               St. Johns County

Ranks #1 out of 67 counties in Florida for health outcomes.
7 percent of babies born are at low birth weight – 14 percent are black, 6 percent white, 5 percent Hispanic
Weaknesses – High rates of adult smoking and excessive drinking
Strengths – High rates of physical activity and adults completing higher education
Low rates of teen births, child poverty, single-parent households and air pollution

                              Clay County

Ranks #13 out of 67 counties in Florida for health outcomes.
8 percent of babies born are at low birth weight – 12 percent are black, 8 percent Hispanic, 7 percent white
Weaknesses – High rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired deaths and low rates of diabetes monitoring
Strengths – High rates of adults completing higher education
Low rates of teen births, children living in poverty, income inequality between demographics and children living in single-parent households

                           Nassau County

Ranks #23 out of 67 counties in Florida for health outcomes.
8 percent of babies born are at low birth weight – 20 percent are black, 7 percent white, 6 percent Hispanic
Weaknesses – High rates of adult smoking and adult obesity
Strengths – Low rates of sexually transmitted infections, violent crime, children living in poverty and income inequality between demographics

                             Duval County

Ranks #42 out of 67 counties in Florida for health outcomes.
10 percent of babies born are at low birth weight – 13 percent are black, 8 percent Hispanic, 7 percent white
Weaknesses – High rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, poor food environment, severe housing problems, violent crime, sexually transmitted infections, children living in single-parent households and lack of adults entering higher education

                            Baker County

 

Ranks #48 out of 67 counties in Florida for health outcomes.
10 percent of babies born are at low birth weight – 11 percent are black, 10 percent white
Weaknesses – High rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, teen births
Low rates of adults entering higher education and access to exercise opportunities
Strengths – Low rates of air pollution