Special Report

The Healthiest County in Every State

36. Oklahoma
> Healthiest county:
> Pct. without health insurance: 22.6%
> Pct. food insecure: 11.3%
> Obesity rate: 29.1%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 3.1%

Oklahoma is one of the least healthy states in the nation. While Kingfisher County residents are the healthiest in the state, they are still less healthy than the average American. The county’s obesity rate of 29.1% is lower than the state rate of 32.4% yet still higher than the national rate of 27.0%. Health outcomes in Kingfisher County are also better than those of the average Oklahoman but worse than those of the average American. For every 100,000 county residents, 382 die before the age of 75, a lower incidence of premature death than the state rate of 452.7 premature deaths per 100,000 people, but higher than the national rate of 330 premature deaths per 100,000 Americans.

37. Oregon
> Healthiest county:
> Pct. without health insurance: 14.9%
> Pct. food insecure: 12.4%
> Obesity rate: 24.4%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 5.7%

As in many other healthy counties, the better health of Washington residents can be partially attributed to the benefits of living in a major metropolitan area. The county is part of the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro urban region, where the greater access to health services and employment opportunities helps residents stay healthier.

Nearly all of the area’s adults have access to exercise venues such as gyms and parks, versus the state and national proportions of 87.7% and 84.0% of adults with similar access. Likely as a consequence, relatively few Washington County residents, 13.7%, report completely sedentary lifestyles — a much lower percentage than the state and national shares.

38. Pennsylvania
> Healthiest county:
> Pct. without health insurance: 8.8%
> Pct. food insecure: 9.5%
> Obesity rate: 23.9%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 4.1%

Social isolation increases the risk of adverse health outcomes and is particularly common among adults and children in single-parent households. Of households in Chester, Pennsylvania’s healthiest county, 18.1% are single-parent households. By contrast, 33.4% of households statewide and nationwide are single-parent households, which could partly explain the relatively good health of county residents.

County residents also have relatively healthy behaviors. For example, just 14.4% of adults smoke, well below the state and national smoking rates of 18.9% and 17.0%, respectively.

39. Rhode Island
> Healthiest county:
> Pct. without health insurance: 10.8%
> Pct. food insecure: 11.9%
> Obesity rate: 21.3%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 6.4%

Residents of Bristol, Rhode Island’s healthiest county, have adequate access to affordable and nutritious food, a major factor in the health of a population. Across the state and the nation, more than one in every five children lives in poverty. In Bristol, the child poverty rate is less than one in 10. The county’s food insecurity rate of 11.9% is also lower than the state and national rates.

Area residents also benefit from living in a relatively safe community. Each year, there are 85 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Bristol, far lower than the state violent crime rate of 252 incidents per 100,000 and one of the lowest in the country.

40. South Carolina
> Healthiest county:
> Pct. without health insurance: 21.9%
> Pct. food insecure: 12.2%
> Obesity rate: 22.5%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 5.7%

South Carolina’s population is not especially healthy, which could explain why residents of Beaufort, the state’s healthiest county, do not stand out relative to Americans overall. In fact, the percentage of adults without health insurance in Beaufort of 21.9% is worse than the national uninsured rate of 17%. Similarly, 18.8% of county adults report excessive drinking, higher than the national percentage.

County residents are still far better off healthwise compared to South Carolinians. The county reports far fewer preventable deaths than the state as a whole. Also, while the 12.6% of county adults who report fair or poor health is only slightly lower than the national percentage, it is well below the state share of 17.4% who say they are in such poor health.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.