An annual report on the health of all 92 Indiana counties has been released. This year’s County Health Rankings and Roadmaps data also highlights how housing impacts health.
Affordable, safe housing influences how much families have for other essentials like healthy food or quality education. The place where you live can also influence factors like employment opportunities and spaces that promote physical activity.
For the ninth year Hamilton County ranks the best in terms of health factors and outcomes. Fayette and Crawford counties are at the bottom this year.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior program manager Aditi Vaidya says the rankings are not competition – but more of an awareness tool about the impact of place.
"In healthier counties you do see these trends and in less healthy counties you see the opposite with higher rates of children in poverty and higher rates of obesity and smoking," says Vaidya.
Vaidya says more than 12 percent of Hoosiers spend more than half of their income on housing.
"We know that when such a high share of households are facing such a severe burden that it also correlates with and relates to higher rates of children in poverty, of insecurity and access to quality of food and even to self-reported poor health," says Vaidya.
The report also provides solutions and recommendations for improvement.