from Radio Iowa By Matt Kelley
A new report ranks the overall health of all 99 Iowa counties. The study used some 30 factors to compile the rankings, things like childhood poverty, smoking, college attendance, physical activity and access to physicians. Link included to local statistics page.
Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says Sioux County, in far northwest Iowa, ranked as the state’s healthiest.
The study found Appanoose County, in southeast Iowa on the Missouri border, was the least healthy Iowa county.
While Sioux County ranks as Iowa’s healthiest county, the rest of the top five are: Winneshiek, Chickasaw, Lyon and Mitchell at number-five. On the other end, the bottom five are: Montgomery, Wayne, Mills, Adams and Appanoose at 99th.
“The county health rankings are not meant to shame a county that’s ranking at the lower end of the scale but to serve as a call to action,” Van Dijk says, “to say, what can we do to move these health factors forward and improve on these areas so residents of our community can live longer, healthier lives?”
The rankings come from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest health-focused philanthropy. This is the fifth year of the rankings, published online at: www.countyhealthrankings.org
Clinton County details in the study can be seen here.