WASHINGTON (WNEW) – Income, access to doctors, smoking rates – these are just some factors considered in a new report ranking the healthiest and least healthiest counties in America.
The annual County Health Rankings report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows Arlington, Albermarle and Fairfax as the three healthiest counties in Virginia. In Maryland, Montgomery, Howard and Frederick are the healthiest.
For the first time, the report took into account income inequality. The foundation says how much money you make can influence how healthy you live.
“It helps you be able to afford medical care. If you are looking for safe and affordable housing, it helps you afford that. And it also helps communities be able to afford well-resourced schools,” Michelle Larkin, the interim vice president for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says.
These and other factors explain why Baltimore City fared the worst in health.
“Improving high school graduation rates, the percent of children living in poverty, that’s an area that they’re working on, and violent crime,” Larkin says.
Larkin adds that some of the initiatives Baltimore has taken to address those issues have already caused a significant drop in the number of premature deaths in the city.
Click here to see where your county ranked on the map.