Monroe County is the healthiest county in Illinois, according to the 2017 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report, released March 23 by the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation.
The nationally recognized health care research and advocacy organization lists Monroe County in first place among Illinois’ 102 counties in its 2017 Overall Health Outcomes rankings.
“The overall rankings in health outcomes represent how healthy counties are within the state. The healthiest county in the state is ranked number one. The ranks are based on two types of measures: how long people live and how healthy people feel while alive,” the report explains.
The county ranks seventh in the state for length of life and first in quality of life, according to the foundation. Some 90 percent of the county’s population is in better than poor or fair health, the report notes.
Not surprising as Monroe County also ranks fourth in the state for Overall Health Factors associated with safety and health, according to the RWJ Foundation.
“The overall rankings in health factors represent what influences the health of a county,” the RWJ report explains. “They are an estimate of the future health of counties as compared to other counties within a state. The ranks are based on four types of measures: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and physical environment factors.”
Monroe County ranks:
— First in Illinois for social and economic factors (i.e.: education, income levels) associated with good health;
— Eighth in the state for clinical care (based on the number of health care practitioners and the number of avoidable hospital stays in the county), and
—Twenty-sixth in healthy behaviors (as indicated by factors such smoking and among obesity rates) among its residents.
The RWJ study gives Monroe County truly poor marks in only one area. The county ranks 93rd in physical environment conducive to good health; largely due to longer-than-average commute times (which the report notes could increase the potential for auto accidents) and violations of federal Environmental Protection Agency water quality standards.
Metro-East’s two largest counties fair somewhat less well in the RWJ Foundation health rankings.
Madison County is listed as the 61st healthiest county in the state with St. Clair County placing 95th.
The foundation ranks Madison County 58th in the state for longevity and 64th for quality of life.
St. Clair County has the 90th longest longevity rate in the state and the 96th highest quality of life related to health, according to the report.
Madison County ranks 70th in the state for health factors with St. Clair County ranked 91th.
Madison County ranks 81st in healthy behaviors; 46th in social and economic factors related to health; 28th in clinical care; and 102nd for physical environment conducive to good health.
St. Clair County is ranked 95th in healthy behaviors; 86th in social and economic factors related to health; 53rd in clinical care; and 95th for physical environment.
Clinton County, on the eastern edge of Metro-East is the seventh healthiest place in Illinois, according to the RWJ Foundation rankings, with the seventh-best quality of life and the 17th best longevity rate.
Jersey County ranks 32nd; with Greene County, 82nd; Randolph County, 52nd; and Bond County, 55th, and Washington County, 21st.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health.
The complete RWJ Foundation health rankings can be accessed online at www.countyhealthrankings.org.