Tuesday, April 3, 2012

County Health Rankings

The third annual County Health Rankings were released April 3. Rankings were completed in all 50 states. Counties were ranked within states only, with no comparison between states. The report helps identify factors that influence health in each county.

All Maine counties, regardless of their ranking, have strengths to celebrate and challenges to address. For years, public health data have shown that many counties in Maine with lower incomes and educational attainment are less healthy. Such disparities continue to be reflected in these rankings. However, the report also shows significant variation. For instance, some counties with similar socioeconomic profiles have very different rankings for health factors and outcomes, suggesting that a complex array of factors influences the health of our communities.

Although some of our counties have better health outcomes than others, it is important to note that overall Maine is one of the healthiest states in the nation, ranking eighth healthiest state in 2010 and 2011 by the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings.

Maine’s public health system is charged with using a variety of data sources, including rankings such as these, to improve the health of all communities in Maine. Significant health improvement planning efforts are underway at the local, district, and state levels.

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