Mapping the Health of America’s Counties

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, this week released the annual County Health Rankings. The rankings aim to inspire healthy community action.
March 28, 2014, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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An article on the Washington Post by Reid Wilson and Christopher Ingraham shares the data visualizations behind the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s annual County Health Rankings. The rankings use nearly three-dozen indicators to measure health outcomes across the country. Just as with last year’s rankings, the report makes the point that measures like high poverty, bad air and high obesity rates produce higher rates of premature deaths.

According to Wilson and Ingraham’s analysis of the rankings, “Southern states are more likely to have higher YPLL numbers. But the most extreme outliers are all in rural counties in North and South Dakota.”

The Washington Post coverage of the ranking includes ten maps “that best illustrate where Americans are healthiest, and why…” The maps include metrics like air pollution (fine particles per cubic meter); percent of adults that a report a Body Mass Index higher than 30; long commutes (percentage driving more than 30 minutes each way); and percent of children under age 18 in poverty.

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Published on Thursday, March 27, 2014 in The Washington Post
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