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June 24, 2022

The healthiest communities in America, according to US News

Daily Briefing

    For the third year in a row, Los Alamos County, New Mexico, is the healthiest community in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022 "Healthiest Communities Rankings," which ranks counties and county equivalents on 10 health-related criteria.

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    Methodology

    For the rankings, U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with CVS Health, evaluated and scored nearly 3,000 U.S. counties and county equivalents in 10 categories considered to be key factors in community health by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics:

    • Population health, weighted 14.2%
    • Equity, weighted 12.2%
    • Education, weighted 12.2%
    • Economy, weighted 11.1%
    • Housing, weighted 9.5%
    • Food and nutrition, weighted 8.8%
    • Environment, weighted 8.6%
    • Public safety, weighted 8.5%
    • Community vitality, weighted 7.6%
    • Infrastructure, weighted 7.5%

    Each county was scored on a scale of zero to 100 in each of the 10 categories. To calculate the overall score for each county, researchers then calculated a weighted average of the subcategories, which they then used to identify the 500 healthiest communities. Data collection and analysis was performed by the University of Missouri Extension Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems.

    The healthiest communities in the US

    The top 10 healthiest communities in the United States, according to U.S. News, are:

    1. Los Alamos County, NM

    2. Falls Church, VA

    3. Douglas County, CO

    4. Morgan County, UT

    5. Carver County, MN

    6. Sioux County, IA

    7. Ozaukee County, WI

    8. Hamilton County, IN

    9. Broomfield County, CO

    10. Delaware County, OH

    For complete rankings, including a list of the 500 healthiest communities in the United States, click here.

    How the healthiest communities are faring against Covid-19

    Alongside its rankings, U.S. News published county-level data on Covid-19 vaccine rates, cases, and deaths, showcasing the direct impact the pandemic has had on America's "Healthiest Communities" in the present and over time. The data was collected from several sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, CDC, and USAFacts. The data also projects how much protection a community may have from the virus based on vaccine coverage within a county. 

    According to U.S. News, the battle against Covid-19 has hinged heavily on several factors, including:

    • Adherence to social and physical distancing guidelines
    • Adherence to masking requirements intended to prevent or slow the spread of the coronavirus
    • A community's testing capability and medical capacity
    • The acceptance and uptake of effective vaccines

    "Underpinning these efforts is pandemic-related data that can inform both government and individual decisions on mandated precautions and acceptable, personal risks," U.S. News reports. (U.S. News & World Report, "COVID-19 and Your Community," accessed 6/23; U.S. News & World Report, "Healthiest Communities Rankings 2022," accessed 6/23; U.S. News & World Report, "Healthiest Communities Rankings 2022" methodology, 6/22; Carbajal, Becker’s Hospital Review, 6/22; U.S. News & World Report, Press Release, 6/22)

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