Just how healthy is the county you live in?


INGHAM COUNTY, MI (WLNS) – Just how healthy is the county you live in?

The numbers are in, and two mid-Michigan counties are among the top.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation put out its annual rankings for the healthiest counties in Michigan.

All of Michigan’s 83 counties were ranked.

One category was for “overall health outcomes” and researchers took a look at length of life and quality of life.

The other category focused on “health factors.”

This is a little more complicated, with socioeconomic factors being a part of the scale.

Officials took into account high school graduation rates, access to health care, air pollution, and even behaviors such as smoking and drinking.

Here are some of the rankings for overall health outcomes:

  1. Ottawa
  2. Leelanau
  3. Livingston
  4. Clinton
  5. Ionia
  6. Ingham
  7. Jackson
  8. Genesee
  9. Wayne

Livingston County jumped four spots from last year’s ranking.

“I’m not too surprised, we work hard at this every day of every year so it’s nice to know that what we are doing is making an improvement but… there’s always room for improvement” Chelsea Moxlow, Livingston Health Department official said.

“Livingston County really collaborates well all of the time, so we always kind of have a pulse on what is happening in the community and we work together constantly to make sure that we measure where we are and figuring out where we want to be,” Moxlow said.

Ingham County had a 12 rank drop from last year.

According to Linda Vail from the Ingham County Health Department, Ingham County statistically ranks right in line with Michigan’s average numbers in many categories. But with 40 percent of the ranking based on socioeconomic factors, Vail states, the health department can’t do much to change those systemic problems.

“Social and economic factors are the largest drivers of long term health outcomes. And so we can tweak and adjust all this medical care stuff as much as we want but it’s only going to get us so far. It’s only going to start when we start addressing these parody issues that we have in our communities.” Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Department official said.

Some of the rankings for health factors are:

  1. Livingston
  2. Clinton
  3. Eaton
  4. Ingham
  5. Jackson

Livingston County and Ingham County officials both state that regardless of rankings improvements can always be done.

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