New UW Research Outlines the Healthiest Counties in the Nation

Annual health rankings report places Petersburg last in state

"By demonstrating how health varies by race and ethnicity, this year's County Health Rankings data offers a way for leaders to address health disparities in their communities and advocate for change", said Dr. Roderick King, CEO of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation, in a news release accompanying the report. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are the cities of Petersburg, Martinsville, Emporia, Galax and Covington. The County Health Rankings measure the health of communities by examining how long people live and how healthy they feel.

The health of Maine's counties are ranked in a new national report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

These rankings are a snapshot of the health of counties across the country and they emphasize that health is not a singular effort but a combined work in progress across all community partners.

A new report out Wednesday morning compared the well-being of almost every county in the United States. That's a drop of three positions since 2017 and eight since 2016.

Iowa health rankings by county.

For the 2018 Rankings, Broome County improved its Length of Life ranking to 52 out of 62 counties. In DeSoto, for instance, 7 percent of white births had a low birthweight while the rate was 13 for black births. The state had a similar increase.

Your zip code can be a good indicator of your health.

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Last year, Petersburg was ranked second worst in the state. Ranked 44th in 2016 and 53rd previous year, Allen County now ranks 37th in that measure.

In health factors, a measure of health behaviors and social factors, the county fell three spots from 62nd to 65th. The rest declined or were unchanged from previous year. Those factors range from access to and quality of health care to socioeconomic factors, such as education, average income and employment figures.

The report looks at nearly every county in the United States.

Other areas where Beaufort County came in better than the state's average speak to the wide variety of recreational activities available. All surpass statewide results.

"Access to a primary care provider is an issue that affects many other aspects of health", Matthews said.

The report also notes Allen County's health weaknesses: Adult smoking (19 percent); adult obesity (29 percent); alcohol-impaired driving deaths (32 percent); and sexually transmitted infections (545.5 per 100,000).

Petersburg is the least healthy place to live in Virginia.