A listing of health rankings by county for all 50 states was released last week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The rankings are based on information gathered between 2007 and 2014 and are laid out in two main categories.
The first is Health Factors which is a ranking based on weighted scores for health behaviors like diet and exercise choices and options as well as clinical care in terms of access to healthcare and the quality available locally. Other factors include varying social and economic factors as well as physical environment which includes water and air quality, and the quality of available housing.
In terms of these factors Mitchell County ranks 7th in the state in these overall health factors. Jewell County ranked 30th. Osborne County was 44th. Followed by Smith County at 47, Lincoln County at 60 and Cloud at 69th.
In the Health Outcomes category, the study uses an equal weight of life expectancy and overall quality of life. Jewell County was ranked 10th in the state in Health Outcomes. Lincoln County was 34th, Mitchell 39th, Smith 60th, Cloud 74th and Osborne 92nd.
The study suggested in its results that income and level of education were direct factors in overall health and wellness, as well as in length and quality of life. The top ranking county in Kansas was Johnson County while their next door neighbors to the north in Wyandotte County were rated as the least healthy county in the state.
Most of the 25 lowest ranking counties were in Southeast Kansas. While the vast majority of the healthiest Kansas counties were spread throughout Northern Kansas from east to west, border to border and north of I-70.
For full details on the study visit countyhealthrankings.org.