10 Healthiest Communities For Well-Being in America: Colorado Grabs 6 Of The Top 10 Spots

10 Healthiest Communities For Well-Being in America: Colorado Grabs 6 Of The Top 10 Spots

The results of the third annual Healthiest Communities rankings came out last month. Is yours on it?

Wellness is the pursuit of health across many factors. Did you know that how well you live can be shaped by the place you live?  One's overall quality of life can depend on elements like a community’s economic performance, the strength of its education system, the availability, and affordability of housing, etc. reports US News . Identifying these factors can help build a healthy community.

The U.S. News Healthiest Communities rankings help quantify health-related components of society. This, in turn, helps empower citizens. It also provides information to health care leaders and officials who can make decisions about policies and practices that can improve health outcomes for all. According to US News, "Guided by a pioneering framework developed by a committee appointed to advise the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the project scores nearly 3,000 counties on 84 indicators across 10 categories that drive overall community health. Population health and equity are the most heavily weighted categories, based on the assessments of more than a dozen leading experts on what matters most to a community’s health. "


So which community is the healthiest in the country? Good News Network reported that the title belonged to Los Alamos County, New Mexico. The county got a perfect score in terms of drinking water quality, affordable housing availability, park access, and the number of college-educated citizens. The area’s scenic and remote qualities do play a role in its first-place finish, said Joe Williams, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report. "That is helping it score big in things like fresh air, fresh water. Housing is more affordable in Los Alamos precisely because it isn't in a huge metropolis," Williams told TODAY .


According to Good News Network, Colorado is another great place to be as well, grabbing 6 of the top 10 spots. Some of the communities are suburbs of Denver, which gives residents more amenities than they might get in the city, Williams said . "Suburban counties of major cities tend to have better access to fresh food, more parks, higher spending on education per capita, and all of those things help influence ranking," he noted.

Three counties in Colorado ranked in the top five, including Douglas County (2nd), Broomfield County (4th), and Routt County (5th). Falls Church, Virginia was ranked third as most healthy. These places had an above-national average score when it came to Education, Equity, Economy, Population Health, Housing, Food & Nutrition, Public Safety Infrastructure, Environment, and Community Vitality. Honolulu County, Hawaii, topped the list for the mental health category which "assessed deaths from suicide, alcohol or drugs, the rate of depression among Medicare beneficiaries, and the number of poor mental health days per month."



And how have these places handled the pandemic? The Los Alamos County had seen just 124 cases per 100,000 residents by late August while the national average soared ten times that. Sources like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seemed to suggest that the data come from a period predating the pandemic. Here's a top-list covering good health outcomes, overall health, and mental health. This year's medical debt, census self-response rates, and eviction rates within communities were taken into consideration.



Top 10 Healthiest Communities Overall
Los Alamos County, New Mexico
Douglas County, Colorado
Falls Church, Virginia
Broomfield County, Colorado
Routt County, Colorado
Loudoun County, Virginia
Pitkin County, Colorado
Carver County, Minnesota
Summit County, Colorado
San Miguel County, Colorado

Top 5 Communities for Good Health Outcomes
San Juan County, Washington
Marin County, California
Carver County, Minnesota
Cedar County, Nebraska
Winneshiek County, Iowa

Top 5 Communities for Access to Health Care
Olmstead County, Minnesota
Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Johnson County, Iowa
Perry County, Kentucky
District of Columbia

Top 5 Communities for Mental Health
Honolulu County, Hawaii
Tripp County, South Dakota
Pembina County, North Dakota
Sutton County, Texas
Hartley County, Texas


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