The Healthiest Counties in America

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10. Scott, Minnesota
> Premature deaths (years of life lost per 100,000): 4,453 (36th lowest)
> Percent reporting fair or poor health: 8.6%
> Unemployment: 7%
> Children in poverty: 6.2%
> Largest municipality: Shakopee

In Scott County, Minnesota, just 8.6% of the residents report being in poor health — one of the smallest portions in the country. Access to care is extremely high in the region, with just 8.4% uninsured compared to more than 30% in many parts of the country. Poverty in the county is nearly nonexistent. Just 6.2% of children in the region live below the poverty line, the 10th smallest rate in the U.S. The unemployment rate is just 7% in the county, well below the national unemployment rate.

9. Hunterdon, New Jersey
> Premature deaths (years of life lost per 100,000): 4,093 (16th lowest)
> Percent reporting fair or poor health: 8.8%
> Unemployment: 7%
> Children in poverty: 4.2%
> Largest municipality: Raritan

Hunterdon County has very healthy socioeconomic conditions. The county is very wealthy, with an average annual household income of more than $97,000. It has the fifth-lowest rate of single parent households in the country, and the third-lowest rate of children living in poverty at just 4%. The county has the lowest rate of teen births in the country at a rate of four per 1,000 women ages 14-19. It has one of the lowest percentages of uninsured residents. It also has one of the lowest rates of premature death.

8. Fairfax, Virginia
> Premature deaths (years of life lost per 100,000): 3,759 (4th lowest)
> Percent reporting fair or poor health: 7.2%
> Unemployment: 4.9%
> Children in poverty: 7.3%
> Largest municipality: Fairfax

Fairfax, Virginia is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. A prosperous suburban area of the D.C. metropolitan region, Fairfax has the second-highest median income of any county in the U.S. Fairfax has the fourth-lowest rate of premature death in the U.S. The region also has some of the best self-reported health. Residents reported feeling physically ill an average of just 2.3 days each month, and mentally ill just 2.1 days per month.

7. Carver, Minnesota
> Premature deaths (years of life lost per 100,000): 4,009 (10th lowest)
> Percent reporting fair or poor health: 7.9%
> Unemployment: 6.9%
> Children in poverty: 5.6%
> Largest municipality: Chaska

Carver County has the tenth-lowest rate of premature death in the country. At 5.3%, it also has one of the lowest rates of low birth weight among newborns. Only 7% of residents are without health insurance, which is also one of the nation’s lowest rates. The county is wealthy and highly educated. Median household income in Carver is just under $82,000, and only 6% of children live in poverty — the fourth-lowest rate. Eighty-two percent of residents have post-secondary education, which is also among the the country’s highest rates.

6. Story, Iowa
> Premature deaths (years of life lost per 100,000): 4,803 (68th lowest)
> Percent reporting fair or poor health: 7%
> Unemployment: 4.6%
> Children in poverty: 11.7%
> Largest municipality: Ames

Just 7% of Story, Iowa’s population reported being either in fair or poor health. To compare, 36.4% of Starr County, Texas residents reported the same. Just 7.7% of Story’s residents are without health insurance, the seventh smallest percentage among the 1,000 largest counties in the U.S. Residents are very vigilant about their health in the state. Nearly 80% of women over 44 receive mammograms to test for breast cancer, the 16th most among the 1,000 counties. A high of 93% of diabetics receive the HbA1C test to check if the disease is under control, the seventh highest rate among the largest counties.