Los Alamos County is known for its huge, stunning mountain ranges the first community to take No. 1 spot more than twice since US News launched the ranking in 2018, according to the report.
But the county and the four second places ̵[ads1]1; Falls Church, Virginia; Douglas County, Colorado; Morgan County, Utah; and Carver County, Minnesota – all below average in the housing sub-category.
When Los Alamos County was ranked No. 1 in 2020, Scott said that a rewarding community that takes health and safety seriously contributes to what makes the county so healthy overall.
It has included pandemic-related donations, voluntary mask making, updated communication between health authorities and residents about safety measures, and public compliance with the county’s stratified public health response. Responses from the census have also helped county governors identify needs and priorities, Scott said.
The top five places in the environmental rankings went to Florence County, Wisconsin; Iron County, Michigan; Forest County, Wisconsin; Summit County, Colorado; and Broadwater County, Montana. This category takes into account factors such as air quality, drinking water safety, amount of land covered by trees, and how many people lived within half a mile of a park.
US News and the University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems based the rankings on how nearly 3,000 American communities scored on 89 health and health-related calculations placed within 10 categories: community vitality, justice, economics, education, environment, food and nutrition, population health, housing, public security and infrastructure. For each calculation, the researchers scaled the values for each community relative to the average for that metric.
A community’s public health past affects its present
Some tools analyzed the counties’ Covid-19 case, deaths and vaccination rates. Societies with higher cumulative deaths from Covid-19 (per 100,000 inhabitants) had a lower incidence of post-secondary education, lower life expectancy and lower proportions of adults who had recently done physical activity in their spare time, the report found.
Societies with a higher proportion of individuals who had achieved at least one associated degree tended to have higher Covid-19 vaccination and booster rates. Societies with higher vaccination rates also had lower deaths from Covid-19.
“What I learned when I talked to health and public health experts is that … the kind of public health infrastructure and public health trust you need to get a pandemic is something you start building, not at the time of the pandemic, but 10 years earlier, “Alex Matthews, then data editor at US News & World Report, told CNN in 2021.
“What ends up happening is, years later, when public health officials come to you and say, ‘Hey, we need you to wear masks,’ or ‘Hey, we need you to get this shot,'” you think to yourself, “Well, of course. These people are invested in my health; they have invested in it every day. So I’m going to listen to them, and I’m going to trust them. ”
The top community for mental health
The top four communities in the mental health category were Fairfax County, Virginia; Santa Clara County, California; San Mateo County, California; and Honolulu County, Hawaii.
“Geographically, communities in the DMV (Washington DC / Maryland / Virginia) area have high scores in this part of our assessment, with Fairfax County leading as No. 1,” said Chris Wolf, senior data analyst at US News.
Community initiatives for “physical health and well-being can also affect mental health because they can limit or support the way individuals are able to move through the day and interact with society,” said Susan L. Polan, assistant director of public affairs and spokeswoman for American Public. Health Association, previously told CNN. Polan was not involved in the research. In the report, lower mental health scores were associated with higher poverty rates, smoking and birth rates for teens and lower life expectancy.
US News produces rankings to inform public health officials about best practices and practices for productive, healthy lives, according to the report.
When mapping potential housing, people should consider whether the area is “is a cohesive community with easy access to healthy food, safe places to play and walk, good schools, diverse residents and leadership, affordable housing, public transportation and a full range of other services, “said Polan. Local authorities that are interested in investing in local communities and financially sound, locally involved businesses are other good signs of healthy residential areas, she added.
The Healthiest Communities project is a result of support from CVS Health and the University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems, a public health research institution. Researchers based the rankings on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Census Bureau and the Environmental Protection Agency.