Worcester County Lands in Bottom Half of 'Healthiest Counties' List

Among Massachusetts' 14 counties, Worcester County was listed ninth healthiest.

Worcester County placed a lackluster ninth place in a list of the healthiest counties in Massachusetts, as determined by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In its recent "County Health Rankings and Roadmaps" study, the foundation looked at a variety of measures that affect health, including the rate of people dying before age 75, high school graduation rates, unemployment, limited access to healthy foods, air and water quality, income, and rates of smoking, obesity and teen births.

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Nearby Middlesex County placed second in the list, trailing only Dukes County. Below Worcester County (of which Shrewsbury is part) were Plymouth, Berkshire, Bristol, Suffolk and Hampden Counties.

Worcester County ranked poorly in "health behaviors," with researchers finding higher levels of adult smoking, obesity, excessive drinking and sexually transmitted diseases than the national benchmark. (Only 10 percent of counties across the nation were better than the national benchmark.)

The county fared better, though, in the clinical care category, meeting the state average uninsured rate of 5 percent: and landing far below the national benchmark of 11 percent uninsured.

For more on the statistics and to see how Worcester County compares to its neighbors, click here


Jim Bourassa March 22, 2013 at 01:32 PM
And who pays for these studies. This is information I really needed to know. What a waste of time, and money.
Ron king March 22, 2013 at 05:18 PM
It is quite interesting...Anyone moving in or out of the Region would find it good stuff to assess....About them: The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. We know that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office—in our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps help communities create solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their own communities, focusing on specific factors that we know affect health, such as education and income. Having health insurance and quality health care are important to our health, but we need leadership and action beyond health care. Ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the County Health Rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what’s making people sick or healthy. The County Health Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.


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