The 2018 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps ranked Rock County as 58th out of 72 counties in the state for health outcomes and 65th for health factors.
Hardscrabble and sparsely populated Cumberland County ranked at the bottom, as it has in previous reports. Union County is close behind, coming in 6th place.
Excellent clinical care, a wealth of opportunities for physical activity, and educational achievement helped the county lead the way in North Carolina, ranking 14th in the state for overall health outcomes, an 11-point gain over past year, and 3rd overall in health factors that predict a community's overall health moving forward. Racine was No. 61 and 62 for health outcomes and factors, respectively, while Kenosha came in at No. 59 and 66.
The five Georgia counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Quitman, Warren, Crisp, Turner and Early.
For example, in quality of life, the county's rank improved from 22nd to 20th, but the data supporting it was the same.
"The health department, our hospitals and many community partners are working together to raise awareness about clinical access to care and the social determinants of health that contribute to health outcomes", Hunter said. Communities use the rankings to garner support for health initiatives among government agencies, health care providers, community organizations, business leaders, policymakers and the public.
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The rankings also show Boone County has the lowest percentage of adults over the age of 20 in the state reporting no leisure physical activity.
Across the U.S, the reported length and quality of life for Native American, black and Hispanic residents are regularly worse than for whites and Asians, the report found. Data show Milwaukee County is no exception.
Karen Moritz, Brown County public health supervisor, said while it was encouraging to see the county do well overall, elevated obesity rates remain a cause for concern.
Rock County gained two spots in the health outcomes category from 2017 to 2018 in Rock County.
Other counties could have simply done better. This can be a significant indicator of future health status.
"We're talking about very small increments of change from year to year and from county to county", Hildebrandt said. This year the rankings took a detailed look into race and ethnicity, and childhood poverty as it relates to health equity and health outcomes. The goal of the project is to give communities a window into their health and provide opportunities for improvement.