2015 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report

The County Health Rankings show that where you live matters to your health.

The County Health Rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot of the health of nearly every county in the nation. The Rankings make it clear that good health includes many factors beyond medical care, including education, jobs, smoking, access to healthy foods and parks, and more. Now in its sixth year, the Rankings use factors that communities have the ability to do something about. 

Key Findings

  • For 60 percent of the nation’s counties, rates of premature death (death before age 75) have declined, some dramatically; for 40 percent no progress has been made.

  • One out of four children in the United States lives in poverty; rates of poverty are more than twice as high in the unhealthiest counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.

  • Unemployment rates are 1.5 times higher in the least healthy counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.

  • The healthiest counties have higher college attendance rates, fewer preventable hospital stays, and better access to exercise opportunities. The least healthy counties have more smokers, more teen births, and more alcohol-related car accidents.

Conclusions

No matter where a county ranks—bottom, middle, or top—all counties can take action to improve. Diverse communities are using the Rankings to invite new partners to the table—leaders in education, business, community development, government, and health care.

About the Rankings

A collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program offers data, tools, and resources to help communities throughout their journey to build a Culture of Health. Learn more at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

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How can you use the #HealthRankings to inspire change? Find your county!

Behind the County Health Rankings

Behind the County Health Rankings

What makes a community healthy or unhealthy? What happens in a hospital or a doctor's office is only a small piece of the puzzle.

Behind the County Health Rankings

What makes a community healthy or unhealthy? What happens in a hospital or a doctor's office is only a small piece of the puzzle.

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