Health and Well-Being
Health is influenced by a range of factors that determine how long and how well we live, including health behaviors (tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol and drug use, sexual activity), clinical care (access to care, quality of care), social and economic factors (education, employment, family and social support, community safety), and the physical environment (air and water quality, housing and transit).
Like our nation, there are meaningful differences in these factors among Wisconsin counties as well as among genders, and racial/ethnic groups. Kenosha County ranks 59th and Racine County ranks 61st out of 72 counties, for overall health outcomes including premature death and quality of life. Looking closer at quality of life, (poor or fair health, poor physical health days, poor mental health days, and low birthweight), Kenosha and Racine counties rank 65th and 68th, respectively.
SOURCE: County Health Rankings, 2018, accessed 1/12/2019
Compared to statewide data, Kenosha and Racine counties have:
- Overall lower health outcomes
- Higher infant mortality, in particular with African-Americans in Racine
- Higher teen birth rates
- Higher incidence and deaths from breast cancer
- Higher drug overdose deaths
Fetal losses in Racine County are three times more likely to occur in blacks than in whites, a disparity that is greater than seen at the state or national level. While the state experienced a slow but steady decline in infant mortality rates of blacks, Racine county experienced an increase since 2013 (Racine County Fetal, Infant and Child Death Review 2011-2016).
In Racine county, stillbirths, infant, and child deaths were more likely to be male (60%). Gender specific differences in injury mortality were observed with males more likely to die from suicide and females from motor vehicle accidents.
Kenosha County also experiences higher infant mortality rates for women of color, especially Black/African American women.
Central Racine County Health Department, (2017). Racine County Fetal, Infant and Child Death Review, 2011-2016.
Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Health Informatics. Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH) data query system, https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wish/index.htm, Infant Mortality Module, accessed 8/23/2019.
Teen Birth Rate
While teen birth rates throughout the country continue to decline, Kenosha and Racine counties still have higher number of teen birth rates when compared to the state and national rates.
In Racine county, stillbirths, infants, and child deaths were more likely to be male (60%). Gender specific differences in injury mortality were observed with males more likely to die from suicide and females from motor vehicle accidents.
- Wisconsin Teen Birth Rate per 1,000 females 15-19
- Black (Non-Hispanic), Hispanic, and white (Non-Hispanic) Total = 4732914
Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Health Informatics. Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH) data query system, https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wish/index.htm, Infant Mortality Module, accessed 1/27/2019.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health.
https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/reproductive-health-and-teen-pregnancy/teen-pregnancy-and-childbearing/trends/index.html, accessed 1/21/2019
The Annie E Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Center, Teen births by race and ethnicity in Wisconsin, 2006-2016,
https://datacenter.kidscount.org/, accessed, 8/23/19
Note: Data is from 2016, “na” data was unavailable at the time of publication
Depression and Suicide
Many factors may contribute to depression, such as developmental, reproductive, hormonal, genetic and other biological differences (e.g. premenstrual syndrome, childbirth, infertility and menopause). Social factors may also lead to higher rates of clinical depression among women, including stress from work, family responsibilities, the roles and expectations of women and increased sexual abuse and poverty. Similar to national data, rates of depression among Wisconsin women is roughly twice the rate of men. Adolescent girls have consistently higher rates of depression than boys do in the same age group.
Suicide rates increased across the U.S. from 1999 to 2016 (26%) and Wisconsin was no different (25.8%). Adult females reported a suicide attempt 1.2 times as often as males, however men died by suicide 3.54 times more often than women did. Based on the Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 16.4 of Wisconsin youth in grades 9-12 reported seriously considered attempting suicide during the previous 12 months with girls considering almost twice as often at boys (22.4% vs. 10.3%).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). 1991-2017 High School Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data. Retrieved June 20, 2018, from https://nccd.cdc.gov/Youthonline/App/Default.aspx
Note: No data available for Racine or Kenosha counties.
Both Kenosha County (135) and Racine County (141) have higher breast cancer incident rates than the state of Wisconsin (129.7) and the national (124.7) rates. Death rates for breast cancer are also higher for both counties, 26.4% (Kenosha), 27.2 % (Racine), compared to 24.7 % for Wisconsin and 20.6% for the US.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Public Health Profiles, Wisconsin 2017
Siegel, R., Miller, K., & Jemal, A. (2019), Cancer statistics, 2019. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 69:7-34. doi: 10.3322/caac.21551.
Note: Incidence = newly diagnosed cancer cases per 1,000 females
Racine County had higher deaths related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs at 204.8 as compared to Kenosha having 178.7, and the state of Wisconsin having 180.4 per 100,000 population for 2017. Consistent with data at the state level, fewer females have drug overdose deaths than males do, 36.8 % in the state, 37.5% in Kenosha County, and 32.7% in Racine County.
Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Health Informatics. Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH) data query system, https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wish/index.htm, Drug Overdose Deaths Module, accessed 1/20/2019.
An "X" indicates a value that is less than 5 (but more than zero) and has been suppressed to protect confidentiality. A period (.) indicates there are zero cases in that cell. If all values in a row or column are zero, that row or column is not displayed.
Similar to the national crises, both Kenosha and Racine counties are experiencing an increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths in both males and females. In 2017, there were 22.5 (32.0 male, 13.2 female) deaths per 100.0000 Racine County. Kenosha County was higher with 26.8 (34.9 male, 18.9 female) deaths per 100,000. Comparatively, the overall state level was lower at 15.9 death rate (20.7 male, 11.0 female).
Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Health Informatics. Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH) data query system,
https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wish/index.htm, Drug Overdose Deaths Module, accessed 8/23/2019.
Overweight and Obesity
Obesity continues to be a health concern. Kenosha County has an adult overweight and obesity rate of 64.7%-69%, Racine County faring slightly higher with 69.1-73.2 %, compared to the U.S. rate of 71.6%.
In the state of Wisconsin, 69% of adults (Females 62%, Males 77%) are overweight or obese.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm
Wisconsin specific information on overweight and obesity