RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A new report says counties and municipalities in northern Virginia tend to be healthier than their counterparts in the southern part of the state and Howard County leads the way in Maryland.

The report was released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin researchers. It ranks counties by several health factors and other areas such as education, access to health care, and unemployment.

The report declared Fairfax County the healthiest area overall in Virginia, followed by Loudoun, Arlington, Albemarle and York.

Also close to Washington, Manassas city ranks seventh, Alexandria city ranks eighth, Manassas Park city is ninth and Prince William is 10th.

At the bottom of the Commonwealth’s list is the city of Petersburg, whose rate of premature death was more than double the state average. It also was last in behaviors such as adult smoking and obesity and physical inactivity, and worst in social and economic factors such as education, unemployment and poverty.

Howard County ranked first in Maryland, followed by Montgomery, Frederick, Queen Anne’s and Carroll.

Among other Maryland counties in the D.C. area, Anne Arundel ranks ninth and Prince George’s is 16th.

Baltimore city is ranked last in the state.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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