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2019 State of the County Health Report Now Available

Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Post Date:06/09/2020 5:46 PM
Durham, NC - June 9, 2020 -  The Partnership for a Healthy Durham has released the annual State of the County Health (SOTCH) Report, detailing updated statistics since the 2017 Community Health Assessment. Current health priorities include affordable housing, access to healthcare, poverty, mental health, obesity, diabetes and food access. The report is also available in Spanish. The report is completed annually; the 2019 report was completed in early 2020. It does not incorporate information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The SOTCH Report outlines the underlying causes of poor health outcomes that disproportionately impact African American and Hispanic/Latino communities. These causes include issues such as discrimination, racism, current and historical policies.

 "Racism is a public health issue," said Rod Jenkins, Director of the Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH). "The health of Durham County will not improve until everyone has equitable health opportunities . We will continue to prioritize addressing issues of racial injustice and working with community partners to improve the well-being of all Durham residents."

Key findings (as data collection was completed in early 2020, these findings do not incorporate outcomes related to COVID-19):
  • The average life expectancy in Durham County is 80.2, with females averaging 82.2 years and males 77.5 years. White Durham residents and Black Durham residents are expected to live 82.4 and 77.1 years, respectively.
  • Cancer has been identified as the leading cause of death from 2014-2018, with 150 deaths  per 100,000 population. The rate for Black residents is 181 per 100,000; for White residents the rate is 139 per 100,000.
  • All other unintentional injuries was the fourth leading cause of death from 2014-2018; this was the first change since 2010 in top 5 causes. The rate for women was 21 per 100,000; for men the rate was 38 per 100,000. 
  • In 2018, an estimated 52% of renters were spending a third or more of their income on housing costs, which is above the affordable housing threshold.
  • For the first time, the Community Health Assessment door-to-door county-wide sample size was doubled to analyze data by factors such as race and ethnicity. 
  • Emerging issues include the impact of housing on health; suspension of Medicaid Transformation; and the impact of history on current health outcomes.

For the full SOTCH report, visit For more information about the Partnership for a Healthy Durham or community health improvement plans, visit the website or contact Marissa Mortiboy at 919-560-7833 or