For Better Health: A County-by-County Health Comparison

Can the location of where you live impact your health?

Maybe? Maybe not? But, at least new data from gives you something to think about.

With help from the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Foundation, all counties in all 50 states were analyzed and compared for health outcomes and health factors.

For health outcomes, the report shows how long people live, or more specifically it looks at premature deaths. In addition, the report looks at how healthy people feel while they’re alive, described as their health-related quality of life.

In the health factors section, the report looks at four areas: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.

Some of the health behaviors reviewed are tobacco and alcohol, diet and exercise, and unsafe sex. The clinical care section covers access to and quality of care. Education, employment, and community safety are some of the social factors covered, while quality of food and availability of alcohol are discussed through a county’s physical environment.

For many, the results are not surprising. Wealthier counties tend to have a better quality of life than those counties that are less fortunate.

Does this mean you should move if you live in a poorly rated county? No. It just means that you may have a few more challenges to living a healthier life. And, many features of our Family Health & Wellness website can help you seek better health.

For example, if you’re a smoker, check out our Smoking Cessation section. Concerned about how fit you are? Check out our Fitness, Nutrition, and Obesity section.

Or maybe you just want to get started by taking a health assessment.