According to the 23rd edition of America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation, South Carolina is one of the nation’s five least healthy states, having one of the highest rates of diabetes and more than a quarter of children younger than 18 living in poverty. The state also has a high prevalence of low birth weight and a low high school graduation rate.
Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties didn’t fare much better in the 2012 County Health Rankings report, which ranks the overall health of nearly every county in the nation. Each of the state’s 46 counties were ranked on key factors that affect health, such as obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers and the number of children living in poverty.
“Poverty is associated with poor health, along with low rates of education and unemployment,” said Dr. Monnie Singleton of Singleton Health Center in Orangeburg. “Until we address those issues, we’re going to remain at the bottom.”