The U.S. News and World Report has released its annual healthiest communities survey, and Delaware County once again ranks as the healthiest county in the state. In addition to topping the state rankings, Delaware County also slotted in the top 20 of all counties across the country, coming in as the 17th healthiest county in the United States.
Medina County was the second highest-ranked county in Ohio and the 97th healthiest county overall.
For Delaware County, it’s more of the same, having been atop the state in the rankings for at least the third year in a row.
According to its website, “The U.S. News Healthiest Communities rankings measure crucial health-related components of society with the aim of empowering citizens, health care leaders, and officials to make decisions about policies and practices that can improve health outcomes for all.”
The rankings use 10 categories that drive community healthy, scoring them on a 100-point scale. Those categories include population health, equity, education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure.
Of the 10 categories, population health made up the highest percentage of the total score, accounting for just over 14% of the rankings. Delaware County received a score of 80.4 in the population health category, which factors in access to care, health behavior, health conditions, health outcomes and mental health.
In other categories, Delaware County received a score of 69.8 in equity, 81.2 in education, 86.7 in economy, 73.8 in housing, 44.0 in food and nutrition, 54.5 in environment, 70.7 in public safety, 78.3 in community vitality, and 80.2 in infrastructure.
“This ranking reflects the priority our residents have placed on not only their health but the public’s health. This was made evident when Delaware County showed its commitment to public health protection by achieving the highest rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state,” Traci Whittaker, public information officer for the Delaware Public Health District, told The Gazette.
Whittaker added, “This ranking also solidifies how important it is to sustain the services and programs that are currently helping residents stay healthy. The Delaware Public Health District, along with several community partners, continue to plan, strategize, and implement ways to improve health outcomes by understanding our neighbor’s challenges and work to secure solutions. We’re proud of our population’s overall health and congratulate our residents once again on being recognized for this honorable achievement!”