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New County Health Rankings highlights housing, health link

The 2019 County Health Rankings and Roadmap report was released this week, and this year the rankings are focusing attention on the link between health and housing (Source: “Stable housing a key factor in improving health in Ohio’s counties,” Columbus Dispatch, March 19, 2019).

The 2019 County Health Rankings are the ninth iteration of the rankings, with data compiled for every county in the U.S. by researchers with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

“We know that a safe and secure and affordable place to call home is a critical foundation for good health,” said Karen Odegaard, an associate researcher at the Population Health Institute.

The cost of housing plays a significant role, especially with low-income families and people of color who are disproportionately burdened, she said.

Housing was one of four focus areas in “A New Approach to Reduce Infant Mortality and Achieve Equity,” a report HPIO published in late 2017 under contract with the Legislative Services Commission.