Polk ranks 27th in N.C. in new ‘County Health Rankings’ report

Published 4:55 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

Polk County placed as the 27th healthiest county out of North Carolina’s 100 counties, according to the County Health Rankings released March 30 by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Jackson County ranked just above Polk in 26th place and Henderson ranked just below in 38th place.
The county placed 52nd in its mortality rate, but eighth for health factors, 50th for clinical care, 15th for social and economic factors and 17th for physical environment.
The study considered factors such as adult smoking (Polk Co. 20 percent, N.C. 24 percent), adult obesity (Polk Co. 23 percent, N.C. 29 percent), excessive drinking (Polk Co. 8 percent, N.C. 12 percent), air pollution-ozone days (Polk Co. 1, N.C. 6) and unemployment (Polk Co. 8.8 percent, N.C. 10.6 percent), in all of which factors Polk County’s percentages came in lower than state numbers.
Polk County faltered in areas related to single parent households, however. In this area, 41 percent of Polk County children were reported to live in single parent homes, compared to 34 percent statewide. In level of education, 48 percent of Polk County residents reported having some college education, while that number jumps to 60 percent statewide.
The county also fell short, according to the study, in its residents’ access to healthy foods, as 50 percent of the county’s population was reported as having access to healthy foods, compared to 66 percent of people across the state.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox