Special Report

The Healthiest County in Each State

Honolulu County, Hawaii
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 12.9%
> Obesity rate: 22.1%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 4.3%

As Hawaii reports some of the best health measures compared to other states, Honolulu County may be both the healthiest county in the state and one of the healthiest in the country. Even accounting for the exceptionally high cost of living, state residents have high incomes and low poverty rates. And Honolulu residents are even better off financially. Just 12.2% of children lived below the poverty line, for example, less than the state’s rate and roughly half the national child poverty rate. The county’s smoking rate of 14.6% was also lower than the state rate, which itself was nearly the lowest state figure nationwide.

ALSO READ: The 20 Largest Privately Held Companies in America

Madison County, Idaho
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 20.9%
> Obesity rate: 25.9%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 4.6%

Madison County residents have some of the healthiest behaviors in the state and in the country. Just 3.1% of area adults reportedly smoked, far lower than the 16.5% of adults who smoked across the state. Additionally, only 3.2% of residents 18 and over reported drinking excessively compared to 14.5% across the nation. At 50.7 incidents per 100,000 people, reports of chlamydia were more than nine times less frequent in Madison County than across the country. The low incidence of sexually-transmitted diseases in the Madison area suggests relatively healthy lifestyles among the area’s population.

Woodford County, Ill.
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 8.8%
> Obesity rate: 30.0%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 7.6%

Likely due to the area’s relative affluence, only 8.8% of Woodford County residents did not have reliable access to nutritious and affordable foods compared with nearly 15% of Americans. Also, just 9.3% of children in the area lived in poverty, well below the 20.6% and 22% of children living in poverty in Illinois and across the nation, respectively. Strong socioeconomic factors such as these are frequently associated with a lower incidence of unintended pregnancies. The county’s rate of 18.1 births per 1,000 female teens was roughly half the comparable state rate.

ALSO READ: 9 States Running Out of Water

Hamilton County, Ind.
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 9.8%
> Obesity rate: 22.9%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 5.3%

While Indiana’s obesity rate of 31.3% was higher than the national obesity rate, less than 23% of Hamilton residents were obese. Nearly 27% of Indiana adults said they were not physically active in the past month, while in Hamilton only 18% reported physical inactivity, also lower than the national rate. Access to healthy food also helped promote good health in the area. While nearly 16% of households across the state were identified as food insecure, less than 10% of Hamilton County residents were.

Winneshiek County, Iowa
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 10.9%
> Obesity rate: 25.2%
> 2013 unemployment rate: 4.5%

Social inclusion can often help people feel less depressed and handle stress more effectively. Such was likely the case in Winneshiek County, where there were more than twice as many membership associations per 100,000 residents as across the country. Additionally, just 9.7% of residents did not have health insurance, in line with the state’s rate of 9.9% but lower than the national rate of 17%.