Josephine M. Mancuso, PhD, conducted an analysis of the estimated health literacy rankings of Wisconsin counties (2011). Her report, The Estimated Health Literacy Rankings of Wisconsin Counties, ranks all Wisconsin counties by estimated health literacy level. The full report is available via the link at the bottom of this page.
The rankings are based upon:
- equations developed from the 2008 published estimates compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau for gender, age, race/ethnicity and education of individuals who reside in each county in Wisconsin; and
- calculated health literacy averages and health literacy weighted averages from the Health Literacy of America's Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy.
Health literacy rankings may assist Wisconsin agencies who are seeking to develop strategic interventions to improve health, eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity among the state's population. We recommend considering these results in the context of the County Health Rankings published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. While we do not have data to confirm a causal relationship between health literacy and the outcomes and factors measured by the County Health Rankings, there appears to be a strong correlation between health literacy and both health outcomes and health factors. We believe further study is needed to determine what relationship, if any, exists between health literacy, health outcomes and health factors.
Consider the following comparisons between the two areas measured by the County Health Rankings (health outcomes and health factors) and the results of Dr. Mancuso's health literacy rankings of Wisconsin counties.
Health Outcomes (how long people live, and how healthy people feel while alive):
- Ozaukee County is ranked first for health literacy and health outcomes
- Menominee County is ranked last in health literacy and health outcomes
- 6 of 8 counties "proficient" in health literacy ranked in the top 9 counties for health outcomes
- The top 5 counties for health literacy ranked in the top 9 counties for health outcomes
- The bottom 5 counties in health outcomes all scored "below basic" for health literacy
Health Factors (health behaviors, clinical care, social, economic and physical environment):
- Ozaukee County is ranked first for health literacy and health factors
- Menominee County is ranked last in health literacy and health factors
- All 8 counties that scored "proficient" in health literacy are in the top 12 counties for health factors
- The top ranking 11 counties in health literacy are in the top 12 of health factors
- The bottom 4 counties in health factors all scored "below basic" in health literacy