ILLINOIS (WMBD) — How healthy is the county you live in? There’s a new list ranking the healthiness of Illinois counties and DuPage County in the Chicagoland area tops the list.
Here in central Illinois, Woodford county is number nine on the list Tazewell county is 14th and McLean county is 15th. Meanwhile, Peoria county is in the bottom half of the rankings at 81st.
Using data from 2018-2020, countyhealthrankings.org uses demographics, health behaviors, socioeconomic factors and environmental factors to make its list. All of those health factors can determine a county’s overall health outcome.
The county health rankings report was released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
“They look for 90 health influencing factors,” said Marianne Manko.
Health department leaders said economic status play a major role in someone’s overall health. In Peoria County, the unemployment rate is 10.4% versus 6.8% in McLean County.
Marianne Manko at the McLean county health department said McLean county is fortunate to have higher median incomes and education than surrounding counties.
“When you have a full time job, often times you will then have health insurance that covers you to have regular doctors appointments,” Manko said.
Another stat shows 20% of children living in poverty in Peoria county which is substantially higher than the other three counties.
“You aren’t able to plan ahead and even take care of those preventative issues because you’re always trying to make basic needs happen,” said Monica Hendrickson.
Monica Hendrickson at Peoria city/county health department says 40% of the rankings are based on socio-economic factors. However 20% is based on access to health systems an area Peoria county excels at.
“We have two large hospital systems, a federally qualified health center, a local health department and we have great integration in terms of providers. We actually in that part really high in our state,” Hendrickson said.
In McLean County, Manko hopes to improve the number of sexually transmitted infections per 100,000 people. Mclean and Peoria county both sit above the state’s average.
She encourages people to take advantage of free lube and condoms as well as their “brown bag pee and flee” program.
“You take it to the bathroom, follow the instructions, do a clean urine sample and then you fill out a form where you give us confidential information so we can confidentially get back to you with results,” Manko said.
To see the full report click here.