Communities use the rankings to improve health equity and target resources to the people and places in greatest need.
Travis County ranks eight in overall health in Texas compared to all participating counties in the state (242) for the annual County Health Rankings.
The County Health Rankings, released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), compares health differences on a broad range of measures among almost every county in the United States. The rankings help counties understand what influences how healthy residents are and how long they will live. To do that, a variety of measures are examined including access to healthy foods, rates of smoking, obesity, and teen births. The goal is to take data and move to action by addressing existing disparities.
This is the ninth year the annual rankings have been published at www.countyhealthrankings.org. Communities use the rankings to drive improvements toward health equity and provide targeted resources to the people and places in greatest need.
“Health is more than what happens at the doctor’s office,” said Stephanie Hayden, Interim Director of Austin Public Health. “There are a wide range of factors that influence how long and how well we live including education and income, what we eat, and how we move, as well as the quality of our housing and the safety of our neighborhoods.”
Public health professionals understand that to improve community health takes partnerships, time, and a commitment to sustainable changes to policies and systems.
Annual rankings can improve or worsen for several reasons including gains or losses in the factors that make up the rankings, random variations in measures, the number of participating counties and changes in ranked measures or their methods.