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Cuyahoga County Ranks Worst In Ohio For Low Birthweights

[MAGNIFIER / Shutterstock]

A new ranking places Cuyahoga County at 60 out of Ohio’s 88 counties for health outcomes. That’s according to a report out today from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The county ranked worst in the state for low birthweights, with 11 percent of live births below 2,500 grams, or about five-and-a-half pounds. The foundation drew on 2010-2016 data from the National Center for Health Statistics for birthweight figures.

Cuyahoga County’s best number: fourth in the state for clinical care. The county had the second-best ratio of residents to doctors, beaten only by Delaware County.

Cuyahoga’s neighbors generally ranked healthier. Geauga County placed second overall for health outcomes, and Medina ranked fourth.

“How the counties each are doing, in terms of the health of the people in the counties, is dependent on usually a series of factors,” the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Don Schwarz said. “ And one of the strongest often is the proportion of children who are living in poverty.”

In Cuyahoga County, 26 percent of children live in poverty. That’s higher than any of the surrounding counties, but on par with Mahoning and Trumbull counties, home to Youngstown and Warren.

Summit and Lorain counties saw child poverty rates of 18 and 20 percent, respectively. Geauga and Medina were at 8 percent.

The child poverty numbers vary by race and ethnicity. In Cuyahoga County in 2016, 47 percent of black children lived in poverty, compared with 38 percent of Hispanic children and 12 percent of white kids.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.