Special Report

Healthiest County in Every State

Source: AlexiusHoratius / Wikimedia Commons

41. South Dakota
> Healthiest county: Lincoln
> Smoking rate: 14.9%
> Obesity rate: 28.7%
> Median household income: $76,094

Lincoln County, South Dakota is the healthiest county in a relatively healthy state. Adults in the county report an average of only 2.5 physically unhealthy days and 2.4 mentally unhealthy days a month, fewer than the 3.1 and 2.5 respective statewide averages and well below the corresponding national averages of 3.6 and 3.7 days.

Those who are able to access care when they need it are more likely to live healthy lives. Only 6.0% of the Lincoln population lacks health insurance, well below the 11.6% statewide uninsured rate.

Source: Thinkstock

42. Tennessee
> Healthiest county: Williamson
> Smoking rate: 14.7%
> Obesity rate: 25.9%
> Median household income: $96,565

Tennessee is one of the least healthy states in the country. Not all parts of the state are especially unhealthy, however. In Williamson County, only 11.9% of adults report being in fair or poor health, a smaller share than the 15.0% national figure and well below the 19.9% share of adults in fair or poor health across Tennessee.

People with higher incomes are frequently better equipped to lead healthy lives, and the typical household in Williamson County earns $96,565 a year — the most of any county in Tennessee and more than double the statewide median income.

43. Texas
> Healthiest county: Collin
> Smoking rate: 12.6%
> Obesity rate: 24.6%
> Median household income: $84,735

Collin County, Texas is located just northwest of the Interstate 635 beltway around Dallas. County adults report an average of only 2.7 physically unhealthy days and 2.9 mentally unhealthy days a month, well below the comparable statewide averages of 3.6 days and 3.2 days, respectively.

Some 21.4% of Texas residents lack health insurance, the highest uninsured rate of any state. In Collin County, only 12.7% of residents are without health insurance, a smaller share than the 14.0% national uninsured rate.

44. Utah
> Healthiest county: Morgan
> Smoking rate: 8.7%
> Obesity rate: 22.0%
> Median household income: $74,314

People with health insurance coverage are more likely to schedule regular doctor visits and receive preventive medical care. In Morgan County, Utah, only 8.8% of residents lack health insurance, the lowest uninsured rate of any county in the state. Even with health insurance coverage, medical care and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle can be expensive, and Morgan is a relatively affluent county. The typical area Morgan County household earns $74,314 a year, about $11,400 more than the typical Utah household.

Certain unhealthy habits are also relatively rare in Morgan. For example, only 8.7% of residents smoke, less than half the 18.0% national smoking rate.

Source: Thinkstock

45. Vermont
> Healthiest county: Addison
> Smoking rate: 12.6%
> Obesity rate: 23.0%
> Median household income: $59,688

Located in western Vermont, and bisected by U.S. Route 7, Addison is the healthiest county in the state. Adults in Addison County report an average of 2.9 physically unhealthy and 3.1 mentally unhealthy days a month, less than the 3.5- and 3.6-day averages among adults statewide.

Like many counties on this list, adults in Addison are more likely to maintain physically active lifestyles and less likely to smoke or be obese than adults across the state. The county’s life expectancy at birth of 80 years is also roughly half a year longer than life expectancy for Vermont as a whole.

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