The health of Hickman Countians shows a deterioration, when compared to other Tennessee counties, in the 2014 edition of County Health Rankings, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Among the 95 counties, Hickman earned an overall ranking of 69th, trailing all adjacent counties. In 2013, the county was ranked 64th; in 2012, 74th.
The lower ranking in the2014 report can be tracked to slight decreases in several areas, including the percentage of residents in poor or fair health, increasing to 24 percent from 22; adult smoking, to 38 percent, from 36 percent; adult obesity, to 34 percent, from 32; physical inactivity, to 34 percent from 32; single-parent households, to 29 percent, from 27 percent; children in poverty, 32 percent, from 31 percent; and the violent crime rate, to 228 per 100,000, from 221.
The premature death rate was unchanged from the2013 report. It measures the years of potential life lost before age 75 per 10,000 residents.
Improvement was measured in alcohol-impaired driving deaths, 15 percent, down from 22; sexually transmitted infections, diabetic screenings and unemployment.
The sharpest rank improvement was in the Physical Environment category, improving to 40th, from 57th.
Williamson County had the top Tennessee ranking, followed by Rutherford, Blount, Sumner and Wilson counties. Worst, from 95th: Grundy, Hancock, Claiborne, Fentress and Campbell.
“The first step in any effort to improve health in a community is to know the facts,” said Randy Wykoff, dean of the East Tennessee State University College of Health and the executive director of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health, which promotes the report here.
“The county health rankings provide an unequaled opportunity for community leaders to know where their strengths and weaknesses are. With that information, communities can directly address their most pressing needs.”
A full report and data from all 50 states is available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.