It turns out that living in Currituck County is good for your health.
In the recently released 2019 County Health Rankings, Currituck placed 6th among the 100 counties in North Carolina.
The annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, is the result of a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the report website, the two groups are "working to improve health outcomes for all and to close the health gaps between those with the most and least opportunities for good health."
The report ranks the health of nearly every county in the nation, and is designed to "help communities understand what influences the health of residents and identify challenges and opportunities to improve these outcomes for all." The rankings are guided by "a model of population health that emphasizes the many social, economic, physical, clinical, and other factors that influence both how long and how well we live."
The report looked at a wide range of factors that affect health in Currituck County.
While Currituck ranked 6th overall in the state for Health Outcomes, it also ranked 11th for Length of Life and 23rd for Health Factors.
Dive down into the data below those larger sub-headings and you'll find a mix of results when it comes to county health...
First, the Good News: Currituck ranks 4th in the state for Quality of Life and 7th for Social & Economic Factors (things like education, employment, income and crime).
And the Bad News? Well, first of all, instead of calling this "Bad News," it might be more helpful to file these results under "Things We Are Working On (and Already Improving)."
Currituck County ranked 69th for Clinical Care and 75th for Physical Environment.
If you break down the Clinical Care report, the news is actually better than it seems. Much of the issue here revolves around access within the county to Primary Care Physicians, Dentists and Mental Health Providers.
The statewide ratio for population to primary care physicians is 1,420 people for every physician. In Currituck it's 3,690 people. BUT, that number is moving up. In 2010, it was around 6,000 people for every one primary care doctor!
We're also closing the gap when it comes to dentists and mental health providers. And those numbers are on track to keep improving because a key goal in the development and growth of the county is to improve access and increase the amount of local healthcare providers and facilities.
Currituck's low rank for Physical Environment didn't make sense at first. Most of us who moved here did so because of the natural beauty... the sunshine, the water, the beaches and the fresh salt air.
So why the low score? In part, because two of the big factors in this category don't have to do with the scenery or the weather: driving alone and long commute.
One of the drawbacks of our popularity as a bedroom community for the southeastern Virginia market is the time and toll it takes on people who have to make that journey every day. Add to that the extended trip that folks in Corolla have to endure just to make their way to the mainland, and you have a one-two punch that can slowly chip away at quality of life.
But again, it's not all bad news. Those issues are no surprise to anybody who lives in Currituck. And hopefully most folks are aware that addressing them is a top priority for economic development. Because by helping our existing business community grow and doing everything we can to attract outside companies, we can create more LOCAL jobs.
In addition, improving the transportation infrastructure of the county with projects like the Mid-Currituck Bridge will reduce drive times between the mainland and the Outer Banks, save lives and connect the county to exciting new opportunities.
If you're interested in taking a closer look at the report, click on either of the links below. There's lots of data, some great insights on local and national trends and plenty to proud about for every one that call Currituck County home!