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Health in the U.S.A.: county by county stats

A comprehensive study of health in the U.S., county by county, has been published in the County Health Rankings report (online) and discussed HERE! I’m a sucker for an interactive map! Heck, I’m even a sucker for a non-interactive map!

The County Health Rankings report ranks the health of over 3,000 counties on a wide variety of social, physical, and environmental criteria, which include: “… adult smoking and obesity, premature death, numbers of uninsured, violent crime, car accident deaths, single parenthood, mammography screening rate, sexually transmitted disease, air pollution, numbers of low-birthweight babies, income and education,” and MORE!

When compared with healthy counties, the unhealthiest counties in the U.S. had these factors in common:

  • significantly lower high school graduation rates
  • more than twice as many children living below the poverty line
  • fewer grocery stores and farmer’s markets (which means more reliance on high-fat, high-calorie convenience food)
  • high rates of unemployment

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which collaborated with the University of Wisconsin’s  (Yea! GO Badgers!) Population Health Institute on the report, said, “It’s hard to lead a healthy life if you don’t live in a healthy community.” The report also highlights the actions of one county to change conditions that gave the county a low ranking.

The rankings for California counties are HERE. I suspect that the stats for MY county of Alameda County are strongly influenced by the statistics of the city of Oakland.

-Bill at

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