Six Minnesota counties are among the healthiest counties in the entire country.
That's according to rankings recently released by U.S. News and World Report, the latest in its annual Healthiest Communities series.
Six Minnesota counties made the top 100. They are, in order of ranking:
11. Carver County
38. Washington County
54. Dodge County
74. Scott County
77. Olmsted County
86. Wright County
Carver County also made U.S. News' list of top 10 urban, high-performing counties, while Otter Tail, Fillmore and Carlton counties were featured among the top 15 in the urban, up-and-coming list.
Norman County and Big Stone County were among the 10 rural, up-and-coming healthiest counties.
U.S. News looked at 84 total metrics, to come up with is rankings, bucketed into 10 broader categories:
- Population health
- Food and nutrition
- Public safety
- Community vitality
Of Minnesota's two most populous counties, Hennepin County came in at 342nd overall, with Ramsey not in the top 500. But both were highlighted by U.S. News for the troubling racial disparities observed in both.
Hennepin was given a "dismal" score of 15 out of 100 in the equity category, with U.S. News finding an "unequal burden across racial and ethnic groups in areas like poverty, educational attainment and premature death."
Ramsey was only slightly better, with an equity score of 28 out of 100.
Wrote U.S. News in its story:
"Long known for its cosmopolitan residents and its promotion of healthy lifestyles, the Twin Cities area also has been home to stark racial inequities. In key cradle-to-grave health and health-related metrics – infant mortality, education outcomes, poverty, employment, homeownership and life expectancy – Blacks have lagged behind whites, stubborn gaps that have existed in the region for years. There's even a name for it: the 'Minnesota Paradox.'"
You can explore the full rankings here.