TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Vigo county is fairing worse when it comes to health compared to other Indiana counties. Out of 92 counties, Vigo county ranks 81st for health outcomes.
County health rankings are done each year considering factors like access to health care, jobs and education. The numbers show Vigo county is ranked lower now than it was in 2017.
"We actually, according to all the indicators, became a more unhealthy county in one year time."
Joni Wise is an the an administrator with the Vigo County Health Department. She says the county ranked in the seventies when research was completed last year. The county dropped lower this year.
Wise explains the rankings are established based on many factors.
"When you look at the Robert Wood Johnson Health Outcomes, what they're looking at is it's a snapshot of the health of our community and it's looking out how things like where we live, where we learn, where we play, the things that we do, how all of those things influence our health."
Data shows more than a fifth of adults in Vigo county smoke. Even more people are obese and physically inactive despite ranking high for access to exercise opportunities. The research accounts for income and transportation and how it can impact a person's ability to buy healthy food.
Terre Haute resident Becca Wheelock says, "I think that maybe it would be better if, like, healthier food was cheaper."
Terre Haute resident Amanda Tovey says, "I'm also a vegetarian so our foods are more expensive that way and it kind of sucks that the store has like five dollars for that but only 99 cents for pop."
Wise says the rankings identify areas in need of improvement so people can work together to assess, plan, implement and evaluate programs to create a healthier community.
Indiana has a total of 92 counties. Here is a breakdown of overall health for our local counties.
Parke County: 34
Putnam County: 39
Daviess County: 44
Owen County: 56
Vermillion County: 63
Knox County: 68
Greene County: 71
Clay County: 72
Sullivan County: 77
Vigo County: 81
To see the full list, click here.