A new comparative study of the overall health of Pennsylvania’s population places Indiana County as the 36th healthiest out of the 67 counties.
Using statistics from 2009, the study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute measures premature deaths, overall health, factors and behaviors that lead to poor health, insurance coverage, and population demographics.
Indiana County had 6,670 premature deaths in 2009, about 300 fewer than the state average. Sixteen percent of the county’s population was rated as being in poor health, slightly lower than the state average, but six percentage points above the national benchmark. Adult smoking and adult obesity were right at the state averages, at 21 and 29 percent, respectively. The percentage of people engaging in excessive drinking was slightly above the state average, at 19 percent, and we had 17 people killed in vehicle crashes in ’09, compared to the state average of 12 and the national average of 10.
In clinical care, there was one doctor for every 1,865 county residents, compared to one for every 1,273 across the state. And there was only one dentist for every 3,061 Indiana County residents. The state benchmark was one for every 1,801.
Among our neighbors, Westmoreland finsihed 23rd in the state, Armstrong 33rd, Clearfield 34th, Jefferson 60th, and Cambria 62nd. Chester County finished first in the state and Philadelphia finished last.