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Yates, Schuyler rank near top as 'healthiest' counties

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Out of 62 counties in New York, Schuyler and Yates Counties are ranked number seven and 10 respectively for overall health of residents.
Steuben County ranked 48. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, out of New Jersey, released the statistics, Wednesday, Feb. 17, for the first time. The rankings for all counties in the country, can be found at According to the study, New York ranks 25 for health out of all the states.
According to the Web site, “The health of a community depends on many different factors—ranging from individual health behaviors, education and jobs, to quality of health care, to the environment.” The information to determine each county’s ranking was gathered from a number of national data sources and put into a formula. The organizations include the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Census Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Center for Education Statistics.
The study also breaks down the results into categories. Despite Yates’s higher overall ranking, there was one area in the study it had a worse ranking. For health related to physical environment specifically, Yates County ranked 60 out of 62 counties. The higher the number, the worse the study says the health is in that area. Physical environment looked at access to healthy foods, liquor store density and air pollution to determine health. According to the study, Yates did not rank well in access to healthy foods because only two of the 10 zip codes in the area had supermarkets in them.
Schuyler County also ranked poorly in physical environment, with 30. However, this was Steuben’s best individual ranking, at number four in the state.
Yates’s best individual ranking was five in the state for morbidity; the number of days people reported having poor mental and physical health, and the percent of babies born with a low birth weight. Schuyler ranked 13, with it being one of the county’s better individual rankings as well. Steuben County was 52 in this category.
For health behaviors, Yates ranked 15. Schuyler ranked 21 and Steuben ranked 60. This area included numbers on adult obesity, binge drinking, auto accident death rate, and teen birth rate.
Schuyler County ranked 51 in the state for clinical care. Yates and Steuben also ranked 30 and 35 respectively. According to the study, the number of uninsured adults, primary care provider rate, and preventable hospital stays factor into the clinical care ranking.
With each ranking, the study also lists what the target value should be. According to the Web site, this data is gathered and reported to help improve the health of a county’s residents.

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