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Vermont's Counties Ranked By Healthiness, With Chittenden #1

A report out this week ranks Vermont's 14 counties from most healthy (Chittenden County) to least healthy (Orleans County).

Vermont is the second healthiest state in the country, behind Hawaii, according to United Health Foundations's annual health rankings. But do you know how your county ranks? According to a report released this week, Chittenden County is the healthiest county in Vermont and Orleans County is the least healthy.This is the seventh year the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute have authored County Health Rankings for each state. The report measures a number of health factors as well as health outcomes including length of life and quality of life. The rankings are based upon health outcomes while the measured health factors predict how healthy a county might be in the future, according to the authors of the report.

Here are Vermont's counties listed from most to least healthy, according to the 2016 report:

  1. Chittenden County
  2. Addison County
  3. Lamoille County
  4. Washington County
  5. Windsor County
  6. Orange County
  7. Caledonia County
  8. Franklin County
  9. Grand Isle County
  10. Bennington County
  11. Rutland County
  12. Windham County
  13. Essex County
  14. Orleans County

“The County Health Rankings show how important it is to examine all the conditions that impact well-being and can help families thrive,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said in a press release. “Communities around the nation are using the County Health Rankings to drive improvements in education, housing, job training, healthy food options, and more, as they work to build a culture of health.”
In addition to outcome measures, the study also examines health factors in an effort to predict how healthy a county might be in the future. The health factors ranked are:

Health behaviors

  • tobacco use
  • diet and exercise
  • drug and alcohol use
  • sexual activity

Clinical care

  • access to care
  • quality of care

Social and economic factors

  • education
  • employment
  • income
  • family and social support
  • community safety

Physical environment

  • air and water quality
  • housing and transit

Nationally, the report examined differences in health between urban, rural, suburban and smaller metro counties. The study found that rural counties have higher rates of premature death, smoking, obesity, child poverty, teen births and higher numbers of uninsured adults than urban counties.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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