The rankings for almost every county in the United States are based on health outcomes, as measured by how long people live and how they subjectively feel. "Do you live in affordable housing in a safe neighborhood?"
St. Johns County residents are the healthiest in Florida, according to annual rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
It highlighted data on low birth weight, which is associated with increased health risks, as an example, along with unemployment and high school graduation rates.
The category considers health behaviors, clinical care, physical environment, and social and economic factors. "The County Health Rankings underscore the need to make children's health a priority and invest in what we know works", said Karen Ordinans, executive director of the Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin.
Collier County placed second behind St. John's County.
The rankings say Wake County is the healthiest in North Carolina, followed by Orange, Camden, Union and Mecklenburg counties.
Of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, Centre County placed 2nd while Pike and Northampton Counties ranked 12th and 13th respectively. Carver County is ranked the healthiest in Minnesota while Mahnomen County has the poorest health. 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.
The County Health Rankings are released annually and were first issued in 2010.
Chera Sevcik, community health administrator for Martin and Faribault counties, described a similar outlook on the rankings. Even highly ranked Brown and Nicollet counties are above the state average in adult obesity.
Census data supports the correlation: The median income in Rankin is $59,370, while in Holmes it's $20,800, the lowest in the state.
"Health rankings change slowly, and health improvement may take decades, but we are not waiting around for nothing to happen".
Based on an analysis of more than 30 factors including housing, education, and jobs, the foundation rates Morris as the state's healthiest county and Cumberland as the least healthy. "We can not fully address any one issue without addressing the full range of challenges that keep people from leading healthy lives", Iser added.
That's up one spot from previous year when the county was ranked number 33.