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Survey Ranks New York’s Healthiest Counties

Survey Ranks New York’s Healthiest Counties

An annual health report released this week gives a detailed picture of the health of New York City and its surrounding areas, with Manhattan named the healthiest of the five boroughs, according to amNewYork.

Conducted by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the survey ranked Manhattan at 11 out of the state’s 62 counties when it comes to “health outcomes,” which looks at length and quality of life through factors such as health care access, education, and crime.

As for the other boroughs, Queens came in at 17, Staten Island at 26, Brooklyn at 52, and the Bronx was last in the state at 62. But even with the Bronx’s poor showing, health experts say that the report is proof that NYC has come a long way in improving its residents overall quality of life.

“New York City has gone from being one of the least healthy cities in the country to the most healthy city in the country over the last 20 years, but it’s also become for people who have lived here long, a safer place to live,” said Peter Muenning, a public health professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Researchers noted that factors such as commute length, access to nutritious food, and the availability of affordable housing play an important part in residents’ overall health. And while Manhattan has always edged out the other boroughs because of its abundance of health-related resources, the other boroughs are still doing better than other parts of the country.

The city’s health department said it takes the data seriously and has made a concerted effort to improve health conditions in poorer neighborhoods. Assistant Health Commissioner Jane Bedell said that the Bronx, in particular, is victim of years of low investment in quality-of-life programs, and its rebound, while underway, will take more time to come into focus.

Initiatives such as neighborhood health fairs and distributed literature warning teens about the dangers of sugary drinks helped to earn the borough the RWJF Culture of Health Prize last year, but there is still much work to be done, notes Bedell.

As for NYC’s surrounding areas, Long Island’s Nassau County came in second in the state and Suffolk came in ninth, while Westchester came in fourth, Rockland was third, Putnam is fourth and Duchess is tenth.

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