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Learn More About the County Health Rankings

Mar 31, 2011, 7:31 PM

Yesterday’s release of the 2011 County Health Rankings clearly shows that where we live matters to our health. The health of a community depends on many different factors including individual health behaviors, education, jobs, quality of health care and the environment. The comprehensive collection of 50 state reports helps community leaders see that where we live, learn, work, and play influences how healthy we are and how long we live.

CountyHealthRankings.org is the full repository of data and information about the rankings. The site includes:

The County Health Calculator — developed with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Human Needs — is also a great resource. The interactive, online app shows — for the U.S., states or counties — the impact that education and income have on health and well-being. The Calculator explores how many premature deaths could be avoided in communities if more people had the better health that is so strongly linked with more education and higher income.

As an example of how changes are being made in response to the rankings, watch the impressive video story of Wyandotte County, Kansas. Determined to move the county out of last place in the County Health Rankings, Mayor Joe Reardon and community partners are working together to improve the health of the county's citizens.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.