Travis was ranked in the top ten healthiest counties in Texas. The country was seventh in terms of health outcomes (measures of mortality and morbidity) and ninth in terms of health factors (what influences the health of the county). Williamson Country, which includes parts of Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, and Georgetown, topped the list of health outcomes and ranked fifth in health factors.
The University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released the results in their County Health Rankings—the first set of reports to rank the overall health of most counties in all 50 states.
The 50-state report helps public health and community leaders, policy-makers, consumers and others see how healthy their county is comparatively within their state, and find ways to improve the health of their community.
Each county is ranked within the state on how healthy people are and how long they live. They also are ranked on key factors that affect health such as: smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, rates of high school graduation, rates of violent crime, air pollution levels, liquor store density, unemployment rates and number of children living in poverty.
“We have a highly regarded and highly effective public health system,” said David Lurie, Director of Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services. “Working in partnership with the community we will continue to take the actions needed to make this community one of the healthiest places to live.”
Other studies have ranked states on health factors, but this is the first time researchers have examined the multiple factors that affect health in most counties in all 50 states. The online rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.By The Austin Times staff