Healthy communities are built on a foundation of healthy children, youth and adults.
In this section, we highlight the trends for several indicators: 1) individuals without health insurance; 2) early prenatal care; 3) low birth rate and; 4) infant mortality.
In all cases, comparisons to state statistics reflect the state excluding New York City.
The share of residents in the Mid-Hudson Valley lacking health insurance decreased between 2008 and 2014. From 2000 to 2014, the share of babies having low birth weights increased slightly, similar to statewide trends, while the infant mortality rate decreased. The region has seen increases in people living with AIDS, but a decline in visits to mental health clinics.
The rate of individuals without health insurance fell slightly between 2008 and 2014.
The percentage of residents under the age of 65 without health insurance in the region fell from13% in 2008 to 8% in 2014. This puts the region on par with the statewide rate yet below the national rate (14%). Ulster County had 9% of residents lacking insurance, followed by Orange and Dutchess (both 8%).
Early prenatal care rates varied among racial and ethnic groups throughout the region, similar to statewide trends.
In 2014, the share of white mothers receiving early prenatal care ranged from 81% in Ulster to 87% in Dutchess. African American mothers had the lowest rates, ranging from 66% in both Orange and Ulster to 71% in Dutchess. Rates were somewhat higher among Hispanic mothers, ranging from 67% in Ulster to 80% in Dutchess. Dutchess was the only county to surpass statewide rates for each racial and ethnic category, while Ulster and Orange were below state rates.
The rate of low birth weight babies increased since 2000, similar to statewide trends.
In 2014, 7.5% of babies born in the region had low birth weights, below the state rate of 7.7% but up from 6.5% in 2000. In all three counties, rates have generally been slightly lower than the statewide rate. Orange County had the lowest rate in 2014 (6.9%), followed by Ulster (7.9%) and Dutchess (8.6%).
The region’s infant mortality rate has fluctuated since 2000, but remained below state rates for 9 of the past 15 years.
In 2014, the infant mortality rate in the region was 5.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, above the 5.1 statewide rate. Of counties in the region, Orange had the highest rate (5.8), though the number of infant deaths is low enough that rates are considered unstable. Since 2000, the region’s infant mortality rate has averaged 5.5, just below the state’s average of 5.7.
The rate of people living with HIV has decreased since 2002 in the Mid-Hudson Valley region. In 2014, there were 87 people per 100,000 residents with HIV, above the state rate of 82. The rate has decreased by 15% in the region since 2002, in contrast to an increase in the state (6%).
The region experienced an increase in the rate for people living with AIDS over the decade. In 2014, 126 people per 100,000 were living with AIDS in the region, representing a 7% increase from 2002. Dutchess had a rate of 121, Orange of 128, and Ulster of 131 in 2014, all above the state rate of 110.
The region’s rate of mental health clinic visits declined since 2001. There were 4.8 mental health clinic visits per 1,000 residents in the region in 2013, compared to 6.0 in 2001. Orange had the lowest rate (3.8), followed by Ulster (4.3), and Dutchess (6.4). Ulster had the largest decline (-35%), compared to a 20% decrease region-wide.