Warren County ranked 51st among 82 counties for healthy living

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Warren County ranks 51st in a listing of healthy Mississippi Counties, according to rankings released Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The 2019 ranking is a severe drop from 2018, when the country ranked 32nd.

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The county’s ranking is part of the foundation’s “Rankings State Report,” which looks at a county population’s overall health and health care factors, as well as factors that can have an effect on health, such as severe housing cost burden and its connection to other factors like children in poverty.

According to the 2019 county rankings in Mississippi, the five healthiest counties in the state are Rankin, Madison, DeSoto, Lamar and Lafayette. The five counties with the poorest health are Quitman, Jefferson, Holmes, Coahoma and Sharkey.

According to the study, 22 percent of Warren County’s population of 46,768 reported being in fair to poor health, with 39 percent shown as obese. Twenty percent of the population was reported as smokers, and 32 percent reported being physically inactive.

Under clinical care, which refers to access to health care, 12 percent of the population was listed as uninsured, and there was a ratio in the county of one primary care physician to every 1,680 people and one dentist for every 1,610 people.

Social factors indicate a 72 percent high school graduation rate with 32 percent of the children in the county living in poverty and 45 percent of the children living in single parent homes.

“All communities have the potential to be places where everyone enjoys full and equal opportunity. But the data show that’s not happening in most communities yet. Children of color face a greater likelihood of growing up in poverty, and low-income families struggle to pay rent and get enough to eat,” said Sheri Johnson, PhD, acting director of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

“It is time to do the difficult work of coming together to undo policies and practices that create barriers to opportunity. The rankings can help communities ground these important conversations in data, evidence, guidance, and stories about challenges and success.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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