Annual health rankings report places Petersburg last in state


Other West Michigan counties ranked highly in the list as well with Barry County at No. 10, Kent County at No. 12 and Allegan County at No. 14.

In addition, the report ranks Leon County as 5 in terms of income inequality, which it claims is associated with increased risk of sickness and death.

The program compares the health of counties within each state and supports initiatives that address economic and environmental factors that impact health. The order changes when it comes to health factors: Collin, No. 1, Rockwall, No. 2 and Denton, No. 6.

Sussex ranks as the healthiest county in Delaware.

In southern Minnesota, Blue Earth County ranked similarly to Watonwan, Faribault and Martin counties, with all ranked in the bottom half of counties for length and quality of life. For example, after almost a decade of improvement, we are seeing more babies born at low birthweight (8.2% in 2016, a 2% increase from 2014)-low birthweight is a key indicator of quality of life for mothers and babies.

According to the report, 28 percent of children in Milwaukee County are living in poverty, compared to the statewide average of 16 percent.

Once again this year, Ozaukee County is first among the state's 72 counties in overall health, and Menominee is last.

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For example, the county's teen birth rate of 15 births per 100,000 females between age 15 and 19 is far below the state's rate of 24, and matches the nation's "top performers". Cumberland County is the healthiest, while Washington County was found to be the least healthy.

Jerry Spegman is a community coach for the group that assembles the rankings, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

David Plyler, the chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, said the county could remain at its current ranking in the short term because "instant success is not always prevalent".

In New York, the number one ranked county is Rockland and the last ranked is Bronx County at 62.

Your zip code can be a good indicator of your health.

The new Rankings State Reports call attention to key drivers of health, such as children in poverty.

"Improving health is not just what our hospitals or the health department does, it is what we all do individually and collectively as a community to improve health", he said.