Escambia County ranks 32nd in health

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The 2011 County Health Rankings results have been released and Escambia County is right in the middle of the field.

Of the 67 Alabama counties, Escambia fell into an average ranking of 32nd place with some areas of attention ranking as high has eighth with others as low as 45th place in areas including health outcomes and health factors.

“A number of different health factors shape a community’s health outcomes,” CHR officials said on their Website. “Our County Health Rankings model includes four types of health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and the physical environment.”

In the statistics released Wednesday, Escambia County ranks 34th in the state for premature mortality rates. That outcomes show in the research can be directly attributed to health behaviors used to gather the information.

In the behaviors reported, 24 percent of county residents reported being smokers and 34 percent of the county population is considered obese.  Those numbers, when compared to statewide statistics, puts the county in 45th place for the behaviors portion of the rankings.

Clinical care availability to residents across the county put the ranking at 36 with a high number of diabetes and mammography screenings being conducted in the county. Furthermore, the ratio of primary healthcare providers to residents is 1:1,294 with 18 percent of the adult population being uninsured.

Social and economic factors brought the county’s ranking in at 45th place. With 70 percent of the population in the county graduated high school with 42 percent going on to get some college training. The unemployment rate in the county is 12.4 percent while the state average (at the time of research) was at 10.1 percent.

When the study turned to children, 32 percent are considered to be in poverty with 41 percent of homes in the county being single-parent households.

The best area of ranking for Escambia County came in the physical environment category coming in at the number eight position in the state.

With little to no air pollution in the county, Escambia ranked better than most other counties in the state. With 67 percent of food outlets giving access to healthy foods and the county’s access to recreational facilities, the average for the county was much improved because of the physical environment of the area.

The County Health Rankings are a key component of the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) project, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

To view more data on the rankings, visit the CHR Website at