The Healthiest County in Each State

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Lincoln County, S.D.
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 8.6%
> Obesity rate: 27.6%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 2.9%

When asked to rate their own health as excellent, good, fair, or poor, only 11.1% of South Dakota residents replied fair or poor, nearly the lowest such share of all states. In Lincoln County, the healthiest in the state, even fewer residents — just over 8% — replied fair or poor. County residents were also far less likely than people across the state to die prematurely. An estimated 3,451 years were lost per 100,000 people annually in Lincoln due to premature death, almost half the estimate for South Dakota, which was roughly in line with the national figure.

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Williamson County, Tenn.
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 8.9%
> Obesity rate: 27.0%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 5.6%

Similar to other healthiest counties in most states, Williamson County residents were far less likely than Americans at large to rate their own health as fair or poor, with less than 7% of residents doing so. Residents reported an average of just two physically unhealthy days per month, less than half the state figure. Residents also had healthy habits, with just 10.9% reporting a smoking habit, less than half Tennessee’s smoking rate of 22.6%.

Collin County, Texas
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 15.3%
> Obesity rate: 25.7%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 5.7%

While 421.6 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 people across Texas — higher than the national rate — there were just 170.3 violent crimes per 100,000 Collin County residents. Similarly, while Texas had the worst health insurance coverage of all states with 25.2% of residents going without health insurance, less than 16% of Collin County residents did not have health insurance. Relatively strong socioeconomic and clinical care factors such as these helped the county lead the health ranking in the state. Less than 4,000 years of life were lost per 100,000 people in Collins due to premature death, far lower than both the state and national estimates.

Cache County, Utah
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 15.9%
> Obesity rate: 22.4%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 3.6%

Just 4.6% of Cache County residents were smokers, lower than even the 9.4% of Utah residents who smoked, itself the lowest smoking rate compared to all states. Also, only 6.3% of Cache County residents reported either binge drinking or heavy drinking in the past 30 days, lower than the 9.3% of Utah residents who reported doing so, which again was nearly the lowest compared to other states. Such healthy habits may have helped lengthen and improve the quality of life in the county.

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Chittenden County, Vt.
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 12.5%
> Obesity rate: 21.0%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 3.5%

Strong levels of education in Chittenden County helped residents earn higher incomes, find better jobs, and support healthier behaviors. About 88% of Vermont ninth graders graduated high school in four years. This was the second-highest rate nationwide but still less than the 91% graduation rate in Chittenden County. Nearly 80% of 25-44 year old area residents had completed at least some college, also higher than the state’s rate and one of the higher figures in the country. The county is home to the some of the state’s wealthiest residents. Only 7.8% of residents rated their lives as fair or poor, far lower than both the state and national shares.