Numbers tell the story of Citrus County

Citrus County Chronicle
By Gerry Mulligan, Publisher

An interesting report was produced a few weeks back that tells a lot of things about Citrus County, but it drifted under the radar screen of almost everyone.

A “Needs Assessment” survey was completed by the Citrus County Hospital Board working with the Well Florida Council, and it is packed with information about who we are. I love numbers, and here is what the report stated about Citrus County:

+ For instance, the highest unemployment rate in Citrus County can be found in Homosassa and south Dunnellon. The lowest unemployment rate was found in Beverly Hills. (Our local rate for all ZIP codes is still well above the Florida
average).

+ The top cause of death for Citrus County residents is heart disease, with cancer coming in a close second.

+ The top employer in Citrus County is the public school system with 2,475 workers. That makes Superintendent Sam Himmel the top boss.

+ Talk about patterns — in 2009, there were 2,308 deaths reported in Citrus County. In 2011, there were also 2,308 deaths reported in Citrus County.

+ The rate of domestic violence reports in Citrus County is higher than the state average.

+ The birth rate in Citrus County is about 30 percent lower than the state average.

+ The teen birth rate in Citrus County is about 30 percent higher than the state average. We don’t have a lot of babies, but the ones we do are more likely to be from teen mothers.

+ From 2007 to 2011, the community with the most babies born was Beverly Hills (609). Floral City had the fewest with 279.

+ You are more likely to have high blood cholesterol if you live in Citrus County. The rate in Citrus is 43.7 percent, compared to 38.6 for the entire state.

+ 28.2 percent of the adults in Citrus County believe you can get the AIDS virus from mosquito bites. You cannot.

+ 92.5 percent of adults in Citrus County report they always use their seat belts.

+ Only 52 percent of adults in Citrus County had their teeth cleaned in the past year, compared to 61 percent around the state.

+ 21 percent of adults are smokers. Another 38 percent identify themselves as former smokers.

+ The report stated 61 percent of the people in the county are overweight or obese. That compares to 65 percent for the entire state. I guess that indicates we are less fat.

+ Citrus County has a very low rate of AIDS cases — only 5 per 100,000 population. In Florida, the rate is 31.9 per 100,000.

+ In Citrus County, only 17.6 percent of the population is served by water systems that have fluoride. In all of Florida, 78 percent of the population has fluoride.

+ In Citrus County, we have 25 percent fewer hospital beds available compared to the state average.\

+ We have far fewer dentists and doctors compared to the state average.

+ Of the patients who stayed in our two hospitals during 2011, 62 percent used Medicare, 14 percent used Medicaid and 16 percent private insurance.

+ Citrus County’s dependence on Medicare is 35 percent higher than the state average. That means our hospitals serve many more seniors than the average, even in the retirement state of Florida.

+ In Citrus County, 92 percent of the businesses have less than 20 employees.

+ The community with the highest median household income in Citrus County is Hernando (the home of Citrus Hills). The lowest average median household income is in Inverness.

+ Only 6.8 percent of Citrus County residents can speak a second language. In Florida, the average is 37 percent.

+ 32 percent of the population in Citrus County is over the age of 65, compared to just 17.3 percent for the entire state.

+ 31 percent of the children in Citrus County live in poverty, compared to 24 percent in the state.

Numbers give a certain perspective about who we are. They don’t show that we are really nice people and we love our pets. But we do.

Read the article online.

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