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Friday, July 12, 2013

How healthy is Howard County?

      We think of Howard County as a healthy place to live.  Clean environment with no polluting industries, lots of green spaces and a high income, well educated population.  By the size of the CA, Lifetime and YMCA facilities and the number of folks running and biking on our paths we should have better than average  health outcomes.  With an average life expectancy of 81 we are ahead the United States average of 79.  If we were a country we would rank just after these countries:

1 Japan83

1  Switzerland83

1 San Marino83

4 Italy82

4 Singapore82

4 Iceland82

4 Andorra82

4 Australia82

4 Spain82

4 Qatar82

4 Israel82

4 Monaco82

4 France82

4 Sweden82

4 Canada82

4 Luxembourg82

      At 79 years the US ranks after 16 countries including some that you might not expect.  Here is that list:
17 Cyprus81

17 Norway81

17 New Zealand81

17 Netherlands81

17 Austria81

17 Greece81

17 Ireland81

17 South Korea81

17 Finland81

17 Germany81

27 United Kingdom80

27 Belgium80

27 Malta80

27 Slovenia80

27 Portugal80

27 Kuwait80

   So how does Howard County stack up on a number of health areas?  This link from the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows us the numbers.

   One surprise in the health numbers for our County was that a higher percentage of high schools students in Howard County smoke than the Maryland average (8.1% to 7 %).  The percentage of smokers in our total County population is less than half the Maryland average (6.5% to 14.9).  Another surprise was that we have a higher percentage of children with asthma than the Maryland average (18.8% to 14.3%)

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