Ocean County, NJ:
Community Health Improvement Plan

Introduction

Where we live, work and play matters to our health. The health of a community depends on many different factors, including the environment, education and jobs, access to and quality of healthcare, and individual behaviors.

The Ocean County 2019-2023 Community Health Improvement Plan used the Healthy NJ and Healthy People 2030 objectives and targets in our community health needs assessment and in our strategy building. Achieving health requires more than just controlling disease. It requires us to assure conditions in which people can be healthy. Health results from the choices that people are able to make in response to the options that they have. Conditions in the social and physical environments determine the range of options that are available, their attractiveness, and their relative ease or difficulty of use

The purpose of the Ocean County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is to provide strategies that can be used in improving the health of Ocean County residents. A community health improvement plan is critical for developing policies and defining evidence-based actions to target efforts and outcomes in the best possible way towards achieving our health goals. It should define the vision of health in the community through a collaborative process, and should address the gamut of strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that exist in the community to improve the health status of the community. The Community Health Improvement Plan needs to focus on all factors in the community that contribute to the health of its residents. 

Demographics of Ocean County

According to the 2017 US Census estimate, Ocean County's population was 597,943, a 3.7% increase from 2010, making Ocean County the state's sixth-most densely populated county.

Almost all diseases or health outcomes occur at different rates in different age groups. Many chronic diseases, including most cancers, occur more often among older populations. Other outcomes, such as many types of injuries, may occur more often among younger people. Therefore, the age distribution of a given population often determines what the most common health problems in a community will be. Age-adjusted rates are essential for evaluating public health events that vary with age (for example, cancer deaths), or when comparing populations with different age distributions such as in Ocean County with a diverse age distribution.

The median age in Ocean County’s population is 42.9 years (2013-2017), compared to a median age of 39.6 years and 37.8 years for New Jersey and the United States respectively.

This map shows Ocean County having one of the most diverse patterns of age in the United States; Lakewood Township has among the youngest population nationally with an average age of 13.7 years and Manchester Township among the oldest with an average age of 74.1 years. As evidenced by the same data from 2006-2010; the youngest townships are getting younger and the oldest, older.

The 2017 US Census shows that the racial distribution in Ocean County consists of 91.3% Whites and 3% African Americans. The US Census data also shows that overall, women continue to outnumber men (Female= 51.8%, Male= 48.2 %). 


Leading Causes of Death in Ocean County

This graph shows the ten leading causes of death in Ocean County from 2014 to 2016. The rates have been adjusted to the age distribution of the estimated US population of the year 2000, commonly referred to as the standard population.

Heart diseases and cancer have claimed the first and second spots as the leading causes of death in Ocean County with 201 deaths per 100,000 and 163 deaths per 100,000 individuals in 2014-2016 respectively. The data displays that the age adjusted death rates of heart disease and cancer is greater as compared to New Jersey and United States. The graph also reveals that heart disease and cancer deaths are far greater cause of death than compared to other leading causes of death in Ocean County; likely attributed to the higher composition of older individuals in Ocean County.

*Note: Causes marked with an asterisk use data from 2014-2016 for Ocean County, rather than the single-year period.