The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin teamed up to create this year's "County Health Rankings" —an annual survey ranking each state's county by health. And it's not just a fun map. The program aims to put health care analysis into the hands of communities, rather than leaving it at the national level. Its mission: "help communities create solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their own communities, focusing on specific factors that we known affect health, such as education and income."
For being the population magnet, industrial node and top metropolitan area that it is, Multnomah County didn't do too poorly. We're 14th on the "Health Outcomes" (read: death) list and 10th on the "Health Factors" list on a scale from 1 (Benton County, healthiest) to 33 (Jefferson County, not doing too hot). What's this vague scale based on, you ask?
Smoking rate (17 percent), obesity rate (24 percent), sexually treated disease rate (482 positive tests for Chlamydia out of 100,000 tested), uninsured rate (19 percent) and other health statistics factor into the ultimate ranking. Turns out, we haven't strayed far from last year's rankings. But hey, if you're feeling low about the score (or just relatively unhealthy) scoot over the Washington County (ranked 3rd) or Hood River County (ranked 2nd) and take some deep breaths.
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