Report: Milwaukee County second to last in statewide health rankings

Ozaukee County ranked No. 1 for health outcomes and factors

Last updated on June 18th, 2019 at 11:07 am

Milwaukee County again ranked second to last among all Wisconsin counties for residents’ health outcomes, according to an annual County Health Rankings Report.

Milwaukee County’s neighbor Ozaukee County is the state’s healthiest, according to the report released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The annual report compares counties on both their health outcomes — including premature death rates, low birth weights and the percentage of people who report poor health — and health factors, such as behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environments.

Here is how Milwaukee and surrounding counties ranked in Wisconsin for health outcomes:

  • Ozaukee: No. 1
  • Washington: No. 2
  • Waukesha: No. 4
  • Sheboygan: No. 27
  • Kenosha: No. 60
  • Racine: No. 65
  • Milwaukee: No. 71

Here is how they ranked in the state for health factors:

  • Ozaukee: No. 1
  • Waukesha: No. 2
  • Washington: No. 4
  • Sheboygan: No. 10
  • Kenosha: No. 66
  • Racine: No. 63
  • Milwaukee: No. 71

Menominee County came in last, at No. 72, for both categories.

Milwaukee County’s premature death rate — defined as deaths before age 75 — was 8,700 years of potential life lost per 100,000 people, compared to the statewide average of 6,300 years.  Broken down by racial group, the premature death rate among black residents was 14,200 years; 5,700 years among Hispanic residents; and 6,800 years among white residents. Nationally, the reported length and quality of life for Native American, black and Hispanic residents are regularly worse than for whites and Asians, the report found. Data show Milwaukee County is no exception.

Milwaukee County ranked last in the state for quality of life, with 19 percent of adults reporting fair or poor health, compared to the statewide average of 15 percent. Its low birth weight rate was 10 percent, compared to the statewide average of 7 percent. Both of the metrics remained the same from the 2018 report.

Many of Milwaukee County’s health behaviors mirror those of the state as a whole, but its rates of sexually transmitted infection and teen pregnancy outpaced the state average.

Milwaukee County had 1,122 newly diagnosed chlamydia cases per 100,000 people, compared to the state average of 466, according to the report. Its teen birth rate was 34 for 1,000 women ages 15-19, compared to the state average of 18.

While it has declined steadily since 2013, Milwaukee County’s uninsured rate of 8 percent was higher than the state average of 6 percent.

The report highlighted several disparities between Milwaukee County and Wisconsin as a whole regarding several social and economic factors, including:

  • 26 percent of children in Milwaukee County are living in poverty, compared to the statewide average of 15 percent.
  • Milwaukee County’s graduation rate is 77 percent. The state average is 89 percent.
  • Milwaukee County saw 1,020 violent crime offenses per 100,000 people, compared to the state’s violent crime rate of 298.

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