Colorado counties made a strong showing in the U.S. News and World Reports rankings of the top 500 Healthiest Communities nationwide with Douglas County placing second and four additional Colorado counties in the top 10.
The 2021 rankings were based on scores across 10 “categories that drive community health on a scale of zero to 100,” U.S. News said on its website.
Douglas County nailed a 99.9 score on “economy,” which included data on “employment, income and opportunity.” The county scored above 90 in “population health” and “infrastructure.”
“We are pleased that Douglas County once again is at the top of the healthiest counties in the U.S. Douglas County has been proactive in providing public health and mental health resources to its residents and that commitment to health shows,” said Deputy Director Jennifer Ludwig, of the Tri-County Health Department, in a statement. “In addition, Douglas County has amazing parks and outdoor recreation opportunities that support healthy and active lifestyles. The county also enjoys the added benefit of residents who have higher incomes and education levels which contribute to health outcomes.”
In April, Douglas County commissioners sacked a health board member, Marsha Jaroch, they accused of “creating distrust” in the county. There’s a movement in the county to pull Douglas out of Tri-County health to form its own health department.
Other Colorado counties ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. News rankings are: Broomfield, No. 5; San Miguel, No. 6; Pitkin, No. 7; and Routt, No. 10.
Los Alamos County, N.M., was No. 1 in the country. Elbert County was ranked at No. 24.
The U.S. News rankings were based on a “broad framework of categories and subcategories” and include a basis of key factors “evaluating community health that were identified by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics — a policy advisory board to the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — as part of its Measurement Framework for Community Health and Well-Being,” the publication said.
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