This year’s county health rankings shows some Central Illinois counties at the bottom of the list.
Out of the 102 counties in the state, Peoria County falls at number 90 on that list. The report examines how economic and housing factors impact quality of life in each county.
“Health is influenced by many things like a good job, good education and safe places to play. All of these factors are linked to where we live, our home,” said Dr. Richard Besser, CEO of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The 2019 County Health Rankings report shines a light on each county’s health and quality of life. It’s not just about fitness and staying active, Dr Besser says the kind of home and area you live in also plays a role.
“When the vast majority of a family’s paycheck goes to housing, there’s little money left for other essentials that contribute to good health, such as healthy food, medicine or transportation and high housing costs can force some families to live in unsafe or overcrowded housing,” said Dr. Besser.
Public health Administrator Monica Hendrickson says your visit to the doctor is just as important as your life at home.
“A child with asthma can go to their pediatrician and be given medication. The mom is compliant, family’s compliant, they take their meds, they use their inhalers, they do everything they are supposed to do. But when you go back into their house and its filled with mold or other issues and poor air quality, no matter how great they are with their clinical care, it’s not going to help them mitigate or overcome that issue,” said Hendrickson.
Tazewell county on the other hand, appears much higher on the list.
“We each have different areas of focus and needs, but I think one of the big things that come is that 40% is coming from your social economics, so when you have a higher household income in Tazewell County, that makes a huge impact,” said Hendrickson.
As housing expenses have outpaced local incomes, many families experience the burden of severe housing cost-meaning they pay more than half their income on housing. While severe housing cost burden has actually decreased for homeowners in the past decade, this improvement does not hold true for renters with as many as 1 in 4 impacted.
Attached below is the official report with each county listed from across the state.