Minnesota's counties are included in a report ranking the health of every county in each of the 50 states. The report shows a wide range of health status among Minnesota counties.
This is the fifth year of County Health Rankings, prepared by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The project ranks counties by overall health using a standard formula to measure the health status of the counties' residents and how long they live..
Out of the 87 counties, Winona County is ranked as 18th healthiest in the state. Fillmore County is ranked 12th, Olmsted County is 17th, Houston County 40th, and Wabasha County is 45th healthiest.
Counties are ranked in two categories: health outcomes and health factors (also known as health determinants). Health outcomes include the rate of collective number of years of life lost from people dying before age 75, the percentage of people who report being in fair or poor health and the rate of low birth-weight infants. Health factors include health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.
Local health departments in Minnesota already conduct extensive measurements of the health of their communities. The County Health Rankings are an additional tool that highlights the essential role of prevention across Minnesota.