There is a 12-year life expectancy difference between Johnson County neighborhoods located just five miles apart. That’s more than a decade that some residents do not get to enjoy retirement, grandchildren, or hobbies. This information and more is the part of the Community Health Assessment data just released by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE). The data is available online at, HealthHappensHereJoCo.com.
Money Matters to Health
How can Johnson County be #1 in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings and still have such disparity? In a word: money. Residents with more income have more choices, which results in living in better neighborhoods with access to nearby greenspace, having access to better schools, enjoying regular healthcare and not facing constant, toxic stress. The life expectancy differences show us that not all of our residents have equal opportunities to live their healthiest lives.
3 Data Points That Might Surprise You
- If poverty were a city in Johnson County, it would be the sixth-largest. Far more residents, nearly 1 in 6, is low income, meaning they live on less than $40,840 per year for a family of three. In communities where the cost of living is very high, the financial pressure on families is immense.
- In Johnson County, 1 in 8 residents report having inadequate social or emotional support. Social isolation is as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic.
- There is one suicide every four days in Johnson County. For every person who dies by suicide, there are many more who attempt.
If any of these data points resonated with you, join us! Do you belong to a civic organization, faith group, or neighborhood that’s interested in serving the community? Reach out today and learn how to get involved in building a healthier, more equitable Johnson County. This is our community; this work belongs to all of us.