California Ranks High in Study of America’s Healthiest Counties
US News & World Report recently released a listing of “America’s 50 Healthiest Counties for Kids 2014-15” and it was good news for California counties. In fact, of the top 50 counties, 13 are from California; even more impressive is that Marin County ranks as No. 1!
We see rankings on everything imaginable so why should we care about this? Because the goal of this study is to spotlight prevention. When you consider there are more than 3,100 counties in the United States, having California counties account for more than a quarter of the top 50 shows that prevention is increasingly becoming a priority.
According to U.S. News, this study “represents a national, county-level assessment of how health and environmental factors affect the well-being of children younger than 18. It highlights counties that feature, among child-friendly data, few infant deaths, few low birth weight babies, fewer deaths from injuries, few teen births and few children in poverty.” The study also considered percentage of children without health insurance, air quality, roles of adult smoking and obesity, exercise opportunities and access to physicians.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nation’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public’s health, assisted US News in analyzing the data. Joe Marx, a foundation staff member, wrote about the importance of this study. “We are beginning to see a dynamic shift from emphasis on sick care to prevention and wellness.”
CSAC has also been witnessing this shift in our counties — exemplified by the impressive rankings of our members.
Here’s our California counties ranked:
- No. 1 – Marin County
- No. 6 – San Francisco City/County
- No. 11 – San Mateo County
- No. 16 – Santa Clara County
- No. 17 – Placer County
- No. 24 – Orange County
- No. 26 – San Luis Obispo County
- No. 28 – Santa Cruz County
- No. 30 – Yolo County
- No. 36 – Sonoma County
- No. 43 – El Dorado County
- No. 45 – Alameda County
- No. 47 – Contra Costa County
When it comes to prevention, California Counties are on the right path. And prevention will be one of a central theme of this year’s CSAC Annual Meeting.
If you want to see how your county is doing, you can go to this website. You can also find tools on how to improve the health of your community.
David Liebler is the Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Member Services for the California State Association of Counties. He can be reached at dliebler.at.counties.org.
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