The US News & World Report have released statistics relating to the healthiest communities in the country. Accordingly, Douglas County, Colorado topped the list with the community having better health standard than any other inhabitants.
In the top 5 list, the state of Virginia and Colorado had a tie between themselves. Both had two state communities that topped the top 5 numbers. Los Alamos County, New Mexico ranked 5th as the healthiest community in the US.
Before we proceed with any further discussion, let us know what the set criteria were. A community would be assigned a specific health score with respect to 81 indicators used including the hours dedicated to physical activity, number of visits to the hospital etc. Additionally, the researchers also considered educational attainment as well as the household median income. Having said all of that, Douglas County in Colorado topped the list in nearly all indicators used.
Are you part of the healthiest communities in the US?
For the purpose of the study, the researchers collected the data of about 3000 communities all over the US. The 81 indicators fell into 10 main categories such as environment, population health, control, environment and infrastructure. One of the major aims of doing so was to highlight the community about the areas of improvement. Once those were identified, the council could work on developing the respective region.
Good news for Coloradans! The state of Colorado had the greatest number of communities in the top 20. Along with Douglas County, the six other healthiest communities in Colorado were identified as follows:
- Broomfield County (ranked 5th)
- Chaffee County (ranked 11th)
- Routt County (ranked 17th)
- Pitkin County (ranked 19th)
- Boulder County (ranked 20th)
One interesting to note about all these counties is that as many as 90% of the inhabitants led a “healthy lifestyle.” Which meant that the community members exercised regularly in addition to eating healthy allowing their areas to be classified as healthiest.
At the same time, Colorado was also known to be the most environmentally friendly state in the US. The pollutant levels were significantly lower compared to other states.
Close to Colorado, stood the state of Iowa with as many as 60 counties in the top 500 list. Iowa scored well in the population health indicator as well as adequate housing. But more importantly, the Iowans were known to be among the least toxic release contributors.
Moving a bit further, Hawaii had the greatest life expectancy. On average, Hawaiians live up to 82 years, exhibiting the lowest risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the US.
There are a number of takeaways from the statistics released by the US News & World Report. First and foremost, by looking at the healthiest communities, we can know where our region lies. Noting that is important so we can undertake steps that can improve the area’s ranking on the index. For example, some of the Californian counties performed poorly simply because of the contamination found in tap water which was putting the lives of thousands at risk.
Second, the report also tells us a lot about the mental health conditions of the locals. A number of regions did not make it to the “healthiest” list because the rate of suicide-related deaths remained high. This was particularly true for even large metropolitan cities like San Francisco.