Boone County ranks 6th, 19th in state in health rankings

Dutchess, Ulster among healthy places to live

Maricopa County has been named the healthiest county in Arizona for the second year in a row by the website County Health Rankings.

The ranking was done by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (CHR), a collaborative effort between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The report also shows that one-in-five New Mexicans, or 20 percent, report their health as fair or poor, compared with a USA median of 16 percent, according to the 2017 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.

In some US counties - even in the healthiest states - health outcomes are surprisingly poor, especially for one of the wealthiest nations on earth.

The study compares counties within states, and results show that where you live influences how well and how long you live, according to researchers.

Rio Arriba County had the state's highest premature death rate of 15,500 years lost before age 75 per 100,000 population.

The Rankings Key Findings report revealed that while myriad issues contributed to the rise, the drug overdose epidemic is the leading cause of death among 25- to 44-year-olds and is a clear driver of this trend.

Chris Parker, director of population and global health at the Georgia Health Policy Center, said Wednesday that in general, residents in affluent counties have greater access to educational and economic opportunities, social supports, healthier foods, recreational environments, and health care. Last year's report cited 17 percent uninsured in the county.

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In Pike County, meanwhile, the best individual ranking in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report was 66th out of 88 in clinical care areas, followed by a 68th in physical environment factors.

The annual report also introduced a new metric this year that focused on young people between 16-24 years old who are not in school or working.

The percentage of county residents without health insurance also declined from 18 percent to 15 percent. Oakland enters the top 10 for the first time since the rankings began in 2003, while maintaining the number two ranking in health behaviors for the fourth year in a row and significantly improving in the quality of life measure, moving to the top five.

Marion County ranked 80th in the rankings for social and economic factors, with high school graduation rates, college attendance and children in poverty all trailing state averages.

The County Health Rankings can be seen here.

However, 24 percent of the county's adults engage in what's termed excessive drinking, and 47 percent of its driving deaths involve someone who is alcohol-impaired. The survey shows 22 percent of children in the county, live in poverty.

"The County Health Rankings show us that where we live matters to our health and the rankings give us a snapshot of how well and how long we're living", Davie said.

Education is one of the categories in this ranking.

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