The health and safety of our residents is fundamental to the quality of life in our communities. In this section we highlight the trends for such measures as access to health insurance, rates of obesity, admissions to alcohol or substance abuse treatment and crime rates. In all cases, comparisons to state statistics reflect the state excluding New York City.
In summary, Cayuga and Seneca counties have:
- Residents lacking health insurance at rates similar to the state and below the nation
- Rates of obesity above the state level, especially in Seneca
- Rising rates of residents admitted for alcohol or drug treatment
- Crime rates below state and national levels
In 2009, 12% of Cayuga residents and 14% of Seneca residents were without health insurance, compared to a state rate of 11% and a national rate of 17%. Rates in comparison counties were all between 10% and 11%.
In 2008-2009, 64% of Cayuga County residents and 71% of Seneca County residents were reported to be either overweight or obese, compared to a state rate of 61%. In Seneca, 38% of residents were obese, compared to 28% in Cayuga and 24% in the state.
Since 2000, the rates of people admitted to alcohol or drug treatment programs in Cayuga and Seneca counties have increased 52% and 47%, respectively, whereas the state rate remained flat. In 2010, 134 people per 10,000 residents were admitted to treatment programs in Cayuga and 131 in Seneca, both below the state rate of 142.
Serious crime in the counties was below state and national rates, with 186 crimes per 10,000 people in Seneca and 220 in Cayuga in 2010, compared to 233 in the state and 335 in the nation. Serious crime declined by 10% in Seneca and 5% in Cayuga over the past decade.
Violent crime, too, is lower in the counties than the state or nation, with rates of 15 in Seneca and 20 in Cayuga, compared to 24 in the state and 40 in the nation. However, Seneca’s rate increased through much of the decade, ending almost 60% higher in 2010 than it was in 2000. Cayuga’s rate hovered around 20 and was down 8% in 2010 compared to 2000.
In 2010, Cayuga’s reported rate of domestic violence was 85 and Seneca’s was 31, compared to 48 for the state (excluding NYC). Both Cayuga and Seneca have seen dramatic declines in reported domestic violence since the middle of the decade, but it’s difficult to interpret any trend since reporting definitions have been in flux over the past several years.