Study: Nassau County is healthier than Suffolk

The Number

75.2% exercised in the past month

A new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Health Population Institute has Nassau County ranked second-healthiest in New York State, while Suffolk county ranked 16th.

That study combines a number of different data sources in order to rank the counties, but we can break them out individually to get a clearer view of specific health trends.

Each year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducts a survey for their Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Using data collected through the BRFSS, local government and organizations can develop a clearer picture of their community.

The Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC) – a partnership of LI health care providers with the goal of improving the health of Long Island residents – released a number of thematic reports recently about the state of Long Island.

Physical activity

LIHC’s look into physical activity in adults reported:

Nassau and Suffolk counties have shown an increase in physical activity since 2013, but levels are still below the national average. The lack of major change at any level over the years shows more work is needed.

We updated their chart with 2016 and 2017 numbers. While our region seems to have improved slightly since 2015, the slight bump might not be indicative of an upwards trend.


In LIHC’s report on dietary habits, they found that:

Year to year, the percentage of individuals told by a doctor that they have diabetes varies more on Long Island than it does within the state and within the nation. However, Long Island has an overall lower percentage through the years.

We updated their chart with 2016 and 2017 data, and the good news is that the fluctuations seem to have stabilized. However, the percentage has also increased incrementally and steadily since.

LIHC produces a number of different resources and reports available for public, and their thematic reports on physical activity, dietary habits and obesity dives much deeper into these topics than conveyed here.

Data from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Tell us

What are your health concerns on Long Island?