Though Philadelphia has long been known for its vices – including corruption, obesity, segregation, depression and overall unattractiveness – a recent study deeming it the unhealthiest county in the entire state paints an even bleaker portrait of the city.
The ranking from the University of Wisconsin Population Health
Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is based on metrics in four categories that impact health: behavior, environment, clinical care and socioeconomic factors.
Union County ranked the healthiest, while Chester County weighed in at third and Montgomery and Bucks counties were rated fifth and sixth, respectively. Philadelphia came in at 67 out of 67 counties, coming in dead last in nearly all of the areas measured.
A whopping 21 percent of Philadelphians were determined to be in poor or fair health, compared to a 10 percent "national benchmark." Poor physical and mental health days and low birth weights were also nearly double the national average and the rate of premature death was 11,791 per 100,000 residents compared to 5,466 nationally.
Smoking, obesity, inactivity, sexually transmitted diseases and the teen birth rate were all significantly higher in Philadelphia than in the rest of the state and country.
The city also ranked dismally when it came to social and economic factors: the violent crime rate was tallied to be 1,382 per 100,000 residents compared to a national average of 73. Far less residents graduated high school – 51 percent compared to 79 percent in the rest of the state – and 36 percent of the city’s children live in poverty, compared to 19 percent in Pennsylvania overall and 13 percent in the nation.
Philadelphia ranked slightly better when it came to clinical care: the ratio of primary care physicians to patients was 742 to one, versus 631 to one in the country overall.
Which is good – there are apparently a lot more sick people here to treat.