Physical and mental health are perhaps the most important aspects of every American’s life, and can dictate overall well-being and quality of life. But health outcomes and behaviors vary widely across the country, and Americans are far more likely to live long, healthy lives in some parts of the country than in others.
Positive health outcomes are often the result of healthy behaviors. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, abstinence from smoking and excessive drinking, and regular doctor visits — while by no means a guarantee — will greatly increase one’s chances for a long and healthy life.
While the components of a healthy lifestyle are no mystery, the likelihood of practicing healthy behaviors appears to hinge largely on circumstances that at first glance may not seem related to health — such as income and educational attainment.
To identify the healthiest counties in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed county-level health data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program. In almost every state, even in those characterized by unhealthy habits and poor health outcomes, there is at least one county where residents are much more likely to be in good health than is typical nationwide.