BabyNORTH CAROLINA-  A study on life expectancy exhibits a remarkable difference between some North Carolina counties.  NC Child released county by county data cards to denote the varying life expectancies and contributing factors for each area.  The study was done in a partnership with the NC Institute of Medicine, which monitors the health and safety of children in the state.

The study says children in Orange County have the longest  life expectancy in the state.  In New Hanover County, children will live 2.1 fewer years.

“Across indicators we see that a distance of fewer than 100 miles can mean the difference between positive or negative outcomes in children’s lives, a fact that simply cannot be explained by random chance or genetic predisposition,” said Laila A. Bell, director of research and data at NC Child. “These geographic disparities are a stark reminder of the profound impact the environments where our children live, play and go to school have on their long-term health opportunities.”

According to the data:

  • One in 15 births  in N.C. (6.6 percent) is to a mother who received very late or no prenatal care. Women who are uninsured at the time of conception may encounter administrative delays for Medicaid that prevent them from accessing prenatal care during the most critical period of their babies’ development.
  • One in 4 children (24.9 percent) in N.C.  lives in poverty. Research shows children who are raised in poverty have poorer health outcomes and are more likely to suffer from acute and chronic health problems as they age.
  • 595,240 children (6.1 percent)  in N.C. are estimated to be food insecure, living in households that struggle to provide enough healthy, nutritious food for all members of the family.
  • One in 11 babies (8.8 percent)  in N.C. is born at a low birth weight putting children at greater risk for developmental delays or future health complications including infant mortality.

To view data cards by county click here.