March 23, 2018

Where do New Jersey's healthiest people live? Here's how your county ranks

14 March 2018, 11:25 | Winifred Adams

Health rankings highlight common regional concerns

Annual health rankings report places Petersburg last in state

Ozaukee County ranks healthiest in Wisconsin and Menominee County is the least healthy county in the state, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings, released March 14 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).

The report includes health, social and economic factors, along with clinical care and health environment. The crescent stretching across Brown, Nicollet, Le Sueur and Waseca counties, meanwhile, shared similar measures in health outcomes - all among the top 22 ranked counties. Holmes, Coahoma and Quitman were ranked as the least healthy counties.

Elsewhere in the region, Chesterfield County ranked 30th, Henrico County 33rd and Hanover County 16th. For example, after almost a decade of improvement, we are seeing more babies born at low birthweight (8.2% in 2016, a 2% increase from 2014)-low birthweight is a key indicator of quality of life for mothers and babies.

Last year, Petersburg was ranked second worst in the state.

"The Crater Health District is proud to be working with our community to improve health outcomes for all people in our district", said Alton Hart, Jr., MD, MPH, Director, Crater Health District. Of the children living in poverty in Milwaukee County, 50 percent are black, 37 percent are Hispanic and 10 percent are white.

However, the more populous Tarrant and Dallas counties appear much farther down in the 2018 rankings.

"There is still much work to be done incorporating healthy behaviors where we live, learn, work and play." said Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive. "We need to make it easy for our community to live healthy", added Garnar. Racine was No. 61 and 62 for health outcomes and factors, respectively, while Kenosha came in at No. 59 and 66.

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For the 2018 Rankings, Broome County improved its Length of Life ranking to 52 out of 62 counties.

The rankings representat a snapshot that compares counties within states.

The percentage of adults age 20 and over reporting no leisure-time physical activity for Beaufort County was 16 percent, compared to the state's 25 percent.

The rankings say Wake County is the healthiest in North Carolina, followed by Orange, Camden, Union and Mecklenburg counties.

The County Health Rankings report also includes data on racial disparity, and Rivas observed a wide gap in MS regarding teen births and low birthweight, even in the overall healthier counties. Poverty limits opportunity and increases the chance of poor health. Low birth-weight is a key indicator of overall health status in communities.

The goal of the rankings project is to give communities a window into their own health and provide opportunities for improvement.

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