Report Ranks Healthiness of NYC Boroughs


A new report measuring the health status of counties across the country show deep disparities between New York City counties.

The "County Health Rankings" report issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute showed counties with large minority populations and high rates of poverty ranked the least healthy.

Within New York City, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island ranked relatively high on several health measurements; Brooklyn and the Bronx were near the bottom.

The study ranked each county according to its health factors, which included:

  • Social and economic factors (education, employment, income, family and social support, community safety)
  • Health behaviors (tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol use, unsafe sex)
  • Clinical care (access to care, quality of care)
  • Physical environment (environmental quality, built environment)

In a pooled ranking of all those health factors, this is how the boroughs ranked among the 62 counties in New York state:

    * #9 Manhattan
    * #18 Staten Island
    * #30 Queens
    * #53 Brooklyn
    * #62 Bronx

In a separate ranking, the study looked at health outcomes of each county: Mortality (length of life), and morbidity (quality of life). This is how the boroughs fared in the ranking of health outcomes of all New York state counties:

    * #20 Queens
    * #25 Manhattan
    * #28 Staten Island
    * #58 Brooklyn
    * #62 Bronx

Despite the disparities of health among the boroughs, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says health indicators have generally been trending for the better across New York City, including in the Bronx and Brooklyn, highlighting the following data:

Life expectancy at birth rose by more than two years from 1999 to 2008; premature deaths declined by 16 percent and 8 percent in Brooklyn and in the Bronx, respectively, since 2002.

Citywide smoking rates have decreased by 27 percent since 2002. Adult smoking declined by 29 percent in the Bronx during the same period, and since 2003, the Bronx has also seen a 51 percent reduction in teen smoking.

Healthy eating has increased across the boroughs, with access to fresh fruits and vegetables increasing in Harlem, the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn. The city also started Shape Up New York, a free family-fitness program in parks, community centers and public housing sites.

The DHMH also said voluntary HIV testing and colonoscopies have gone up, and that teen pregnancy and infant mortality rates have gone down. 

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