Ozaukee, Waukesha among Wisconsin's healthiest counties

MADISON -- Ozaukee and Waukesha County residents are among the healthiest in WIsconsin according to a new study released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Milwaukee County residents are among the least healthy.

The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live.  This year’s County Health Rankings include several new measures, such as how many fast-food restaurants are in a county and levels of physical inactivity among residents.  Graphs illustrating premature death trends over 10 years are also new.

Wisconsin’s five healthiest counties are St. Croix, Ozaukee, Taylor, Iowa and Vernon.  The five counties in the poorest health are Menominee, Marquette, Milwaukee, Adams and Jackson.  The least healthy counties are primarily located in rural areas of central and northern Wisconsin with the exception of Milwaukee County, the state’s most urban county, in the southeast.

Milwaukee County ranks in the bottom half of Wisconsin counties for health factors (71) and health outcomes (70).  Milwaukee County ranks in the bottom half of counties for health behaviors (70), clinical care (58), social and economic factors (71), and physical environment (69).

The County Health Rankings, available at countyhealthrankings.org, include a snapshot of each county in Wisconsin.  University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute researchers used five measures to assess the level of overall health for each county: premature death, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the number of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low birthweight infants.