Providence: Bristol County ranks as the healthiest county in Rhode Island, according to the fifth annual County Health Rankings. The rankings, based on 29 factors that influence health, including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity, and access to healthy foods, were released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The report ranks the health of residents in Rhode Island's five counties, and in almost every county in every state in the United States.
"These rankings show us once again the importance of investing in the health and well-being of Rhode Island at the community level," said Director of Health Michael Fine, M.D. "By identifying the health issues affecting each county and building local partnerships to address these issues, we can make the entire state a healthier place to live."
The study includes two sets of rankings. The first ranking is based on health factors, such as residents' rates of tobacco use and diet and exercise. The second ranking is based on health outcomes, which were determined by length of life and quality of life.
Health factors 1. Bristol County 2. Washington County 3. Newport County 4. Kent County 5. Providence County
Health outcomes 1. Bristol County 2. Newport County 3. Washington County 4. Kent County 5. Providence County
The study only compared counties within states. It did not compare counties from different states.
The Rhode Island Public Health Institute, the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Rhode Island Public Health Association will be sponsoring a workshop in the coming weeks to address issues highlighted in this report.
"The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's vision for a culture of health is one where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy," said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO. "The County Health Rankings are a starting point for change, helping communities come together, identify priorities, and create solutions that will help all in our diverse society live healthier lives, now and for generations to come."
Nationally, this year's rankings show that people living in the least healthy counties are twice as likely to have shorter lives as people living in the healthiest counties. Unhealthy counties also have twice as many children living in poverty and twice as many teen births as the healthiest counties. This year's rankings also feature several new measures including housing, transportation, and access to mental health providers.
The County Health Rankings is part of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. The program includes the Roadmaps to Health Action Center which provides local leaders with tools, step-by-step guides, and stories to help communities identify and implement solutions that make it easier for people to live healthy lives.
The rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org