Delaware Public Health Institute (DPHI), a partnership between PHMC and the University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences (CHS), is the state lead agency to distribute Delaware’s County Health Rankings’ results. Sussex County ranks healthiest in Delaware and Kent County is the least healthy county in the state, according to the eighth annual County Health Rankings (CHR), released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings are available at

“Delaware Public Health Institute’s Community Health Database findings combined with County Health Rankings offer insights that can help shape health care policy and improve care at the local level,” said Francine Axler, Executive Director of DPHI. “The Rankings offer a comprehensive view of how a variety of factors – including housing, education and access to healthy foods – impacts health.”

The report reveals that drug overdose deaths are fueling a dramatic increase in premature deaths nationally among 15- to 44- year olds. The drug overdose epidemic is the leading cause of death among 25- to 44-year olds. Drug deaths are also accelerating among 15- to 24- year olds, but nearly three times as many people in this age group die by homicide, suicide or in motor vehicle crashes.

DPHI’s Community Health Data Base (CHDB) through its Household Health Survey (HHS), has pulled out key metrics to take a deeper dive of health of Delawareans at the zip code level and combining it with the County Health Rankings.

  1. According to CHR 2017, More adults in New Castle County report excessive drinking (18%) than any other county (CHR 2017). Data from DE HHS revealed, 15% of adults in center city Wilmington report being told they have or had a substance abuse problem by a professional or loved one. This rate is higher than any of region and the state as a whole.
  2. According to CHR 2017, New Castle County has the highest number of reported violent crime offenses per 100,000 population (550), when compared to Kent (473) and Sussex counties (446). Data from the DE HHS indicates three in five (60.6%) adults in center city Wilmington report witnessing violence in their community on more than one occasion/many times. This percentage is nearly double than the next highest region in comparison, and triple most other regions across the state.

For more details, read the news release and for more local insights through the C HDB, contact Francine Axler, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 215-985-2521.