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TribBlog: How Healthy is Your County?

A national study released today ranks nearly every county in Texas — and in the rest of the country — by mortality and morbidity rates, and the health factors that contribute to them.

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released a database today ranking nearly every county in the country by health outcomes — which measure the current health status of the population based on mortality and morbidity rates, and the health factors contributing to them.

The counties are ranked from 1 to 221 (33 counties are not included) with the healthiest counties first. 

The database also ranks health factors (including access to clinical care and quality of health care), social and economic factors (like income and education), as well as health behaviors such as alcohol consumption, diet and exercise.

Texas’ most unhealthy counties — indicated in the report and its maps in dark green — lie to the east along the Texas/Louisiana border and up near the Panhandle, while the healthiest appear to be clustered near Dallas and Central Texas. Counties along the eastern border and lower Rio Grande Valley along the Mexico border have the poorest health factors, marked in dark blue.

Other interesting points:

  • Williamson, Collin, Gillespie, Kendall, Rockwall, Travis, Comal, Hays and Fort Bend counties are among the top 10 healthiest counties that, not surprisingly, also rank high in the health factor list.
  • Trinity County, an East Texas county just northeast of Huntsville, is ranked as the unhealthiest in the state, with a high mortality rate and poor health. Starr County, in South Texas north of McAllen, has the poorest health behaviors and poverty level.

To find out how healthy your county is, visit The complete list can be found on the web site.

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