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County Health Rankings

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation just released their 2019 county-by-county health rankings for the United States.

"By ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) illustrates how where we live affects how well and how long we live. CHR&R also shows what each of us can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work, and play – for everyone. This year highlights an important element that shapes how well and how long we live: secure, affordable housing."

In Wyoming, Teton County was ranked as the healthiest county. Fremont County was ranked as the least healthy county.

Want to know why? Here are the list of criteria they use to determine those rankings:

  • Length of life

  • Quality of life

  • Tobacco use

  • Diet and exercise

  • Alcohol and drug use

  • Sexual activity

  • Access to care

  • Quality of care

  • Education

  • Employment

  • Income

  • Family and social support

  • Community safety

  • Air and water quality

  • Housing and transit

In most cases, each category contains multiple vectors. For example, Access to Care includes the numbers of uninsured, primary care providers, dentists, and mental health providers. Diet and Exercise is measured through adult obesity, food environmental index, physical inactivity, access to exercise opportunities. Quality of Life specifically reflects poor or fair health, poor physical health days, poor mental health days, low birthweight.

Counties might find that their rankings were lifted by a few factors or dragged down by a few others. What's great about this report is the way that the information is laid out: it lets you dig in and find out where you community is doing well and where you have room for improvement. That data is then combined with extensive research on what communities are doing right and what policies make the biggest differences. Plus, if you scroll to the bottom, the report offers up a tool kit that points the way forward for communities that want to make change.

For those of you who really want to get after it, they're offering a webinar - County Health Rankings & Roadmaps 101 - on April 23. It is free, consider signing up and helping your community formulate a plan to move forward. We're signed up. We'll see you there!


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