February 10, 2016
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PHMC Releases 2015 Localized Southeastern PA Household Health Survey Results

Access to health insurance, obesity rates and social capital among key topics from the region’s largest localized health survey

PHILADELPHIA—Access to health insurance, obesity rates and social capital in the five county greater Philadelphia region are some of the key topics released today from the 2015 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey (HHS), a biennial survey conducted by Public Health Management Corporation’s (PHMC) Community Health Data Base. HHS is the largest and longest running regional survey in the country and most comprehensive in the region, covering 10,000 randomly selected households in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties since its launch in 1983.

“The Household Health Survey is a unique, one-of-a-kind comprehensive local assessment based on sophisticated analysis of data at the regional, county and neighborhood levels,” said Francine Axler, Executive Director of PHMC’s Community Health Data Base. “The biennial survey changes frequently to track and measure emerging health care trends over time.”


Individuals with Health Insurance
Overall, the percentage of uninsured adults (ages 18-64) in Southeastern Pennsylvania is 7%, down from 12.4% in 2012. Young adults (ages 18-39) and males (8.7% and 12.5%, respectively) are more likely to be uninsured compared to middle aged (ages 40-59) adults (6.5%) and females (5.1%). Hispanic adults are more likely to be uninsured followed by Black and Asian and white adults.

Montgomery County has the highest percentage of adults (ages 18-64) with insurance in 2015 at 96.3%, followed by Bucks County with 95.4%, Chester County with 94.5%, Delaware County with 94.3%, and Philadelphia County with 89.9%.

Access to Health Insurance via the Health Insurance Marketplace
The increase in individuals with insurance in most regions could be attributed to the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act and the variety of insurance options available within the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Thirty-eight percent of uninsured survey respondents from Philadelphia County enrolled in an insurance plan through, followed by 37.4% from Delaware County, 36.9% in Chester County, 35% in Bucks County, and 32.4% in Montgomery County.

Of the adults under the age of 65 who looked into buying insurance on, nearly 70% were able to find a plan that met their financial needs, while approximately 30% found it difficult to find a plan with a monthly premium and annual deductible that they could afford.

The number of adults who are obese in all five counties slightly increased since 2012. Philadelphia County had the highest percentage of obese adults at 33.3%, followed by Delaware County at 31.2%, Bucks County at 28.2%, Montgomery County at 27.4%, and Chester County at 22.5%.

In Philadelphia County, Olney/Oak Lane had the highest obesity rate at 40.7% with a 6% increase from 2012; in Delaware County, South Delaware was the highest with 39.4%; in Montgomery County, North Montgomery was the highest at 31.9 %; in Bucks County, South Bucks was the highest at 36.3% with a 6.3% increase since 2012; and in Chester County, South Chester had the highest rate at 25.8%.

Physical Activity
Physical activity across the region has decreased since 2006. The percentage of respondents who reported exercising more than three times per week decreased from 58% in 2006 to 51.5% 2015.

Of those surveyed in 2015, 21.7% participated in regular physical activity less than once a week. Bucks County residents reported the least amount of physical activity at 25% followed by Philadelphia County at 23%, Delaware County at 21.1%, Montgomery County at 20.2%, and Chester County at 16.7%.

A series of questions designed to assess social capital, or the expected collective or economic benefits derived from cooperation between individuals and groups was examined. Social capital questions can provide useful insights into the general well-being of a community especially when measured against other indicators.

Highest Level of Social Capital
Chester County reported the highest levels of social capital at 20.8%, followed by Montgomery County (16.1%), Bucks County (15.7%), Delaware County (12.9%), and Philadelphia County (8.6%).

Within Philadelphia County, Center City reported the highest levels of social capital at 16.1%, followed by Germantown/Chestnut Hill (15.2%), Roxborough/Manayunk (13.3%), (South Philadelphia (11.5%), Upper Northeast Philadelphia (11.5%), Upper North Philadelphia (9.5%), Southwest Philadelphia (8.3%), West Philadelphia (7.6%) and Lower North Philadelphia (6.3%).

About Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. The Community Health Data Base (CHDB) includes the Household Health Survey, the largest regional health survey in the country. The Pew Charitable Trusts, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, United Way of North Penn, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, North Penn Community Health Foundation, Thomas Scattergood Foundation, Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, and more than 350 local agencies from the health, government, nonprofit and academic sectors help to support the CHDB and the survey. For more information, visit