Health rankings: Clinton County ranked 59th/52nd of Ohio’s 88 counties

By Tom Barr -

The 2018 County Health Rankings puts Clinton County as the 59th healthiest county in health outcomes and 52nd in health factors among the 88 counties in Ohio.

The information was released this month by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).

The annual rankings “provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities.”

Health outcomes is a measure of the length and quality of life. while health factors looks at health behaviors, clinical care, social/economic factors and the physical environment.

Clinton County Health Commissioner Pamela Walker Bauer weighed in on the report and on Clinton County’s information.

“Income is part of the largest weighted section (40 percent) of the ‘Social and Economic Factors’ within the Health Factors category. Clinton County ranks 52nd in this half of the county health rankings,” she said. “We know that lower social and economic factors make it harder to be healthy. So that category also includes the unemployment rate, children in poverty, and education. We know that the better-educated individuals live longer and healthier lives regardless of income.

“We know we have a decent ranking (37th) regarding Quality of Life, 37th in Physical Environment, and 46th in Clinical Care,” she said.

“To me when I look at these rankings, this 72nd out of 88 regarding Premature Death is what really catches my eye and needs a closer look,” Bauer added. “Why do Clinton County people die sooner relative to the rest of the state?

“A further limitation of this data is that death data is recorded by county of death and not county of residence. I suspect that drug overdose deaths are a factor here, but they are not all Clinton County residents, nor do we know about Clinton County deaths that occurred in other jurisdictions.”

Bauer said that the leading causes of death in 2017 for Clinton County residents only were: 1. Cardiovascular disease; 2. Cancer (all sources); 3. Pneumonia; 4. Chronic lung disease; and, 5. Drug overdoses.

Compared to our neighbors

In the 2018 County Health Rankings, Southwest Ohio counties’ rankings include (Health Outcomes ranking, followed by Health Factors ranking):

• Clinton: 59th; 52nd

• Highland: 81st; 73rd

• Fayette: 72nd; 64th

• Warren: 5th; 2nd

• Greene: 14th; 14th

• Clermont: 36th; 28th

• Brown: 76th; 72nd

The full 2018 County Health Rankings report is available at

By Tom Barr