How Healthy is Venango County?

| March 30, 2018

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) — A recent report by a national publication ranks thousands of counties across the United States, including those in this region.

(Photo courtesy of Kyle Yates Photography)

Healthiest Communities is an interactive destination for consumers and policymakers, developed by U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation.

Backed by in-depth research and accompanied by news and analysis, the site features comprehensive rankings drawn from an examination of nearly 3,000 counties and county equivalents on 80 metrics across 10 categories, informing residents, health care leaders and officials about local policies and practices that drive better health outcomes for all.

Data were gathered and analyzed by the University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems.

Ratings were from 1 to 100 on 10 major categories, including health of the population, equity, education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure.

Venango County’s overall rating is 57.2, placing it at about the state average of 57.8 and above the national rating of 52.3.

Its highest rating was 75, in equity, which assessed income, education, health and social equality to determine how well all members of a community are afforded the opportunity to live a productive, healthy life.

It also rated high in public safety at 68.

It’s lowest ratings occurred in economy at 41 and in health of the population and community vitality, at 49 each.

County Commissioner Vince Witherup said the ratings “sounded pretty fair to him.”

What he is most proud of is the county’s fiscal responsibility.

“I’d betcha we rank in the top five in the state for that,” Witherup said. “Very few counties can say they will be out of long-term debt by 2019 and not many can say their pensions are fully-funded.”

He is optimistic about the county’s long-term future.

“I believe when the gas prices go back up, you’ll see more Marcellus activity, which will create growth,” Witherup said.

Neighboring counties in the region rated similar with the exception of Butler, which received a 73.4. Elk County was at 59.6, Warren was at 58.3, Mercer at 53.2, Armstrong at 51.9, and Clearfield at 50.7.

To see the entire report, go to www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/pennsylvania/venango-county.


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