For the second year in a row, Washington County has been ranked as one of the top 10 healthiest counties in Kentucky.
The data is compiled into the County Health Rankings, which, according to their website, “measure the health of nearly all counties in the nation and rank them within states.”
“The rankings are compiled using county-level measures from a variety of national and state data sources. These measures are standardized and combined using scientifically-informed weights,” according to the website.
In the last three years, Washington County has ranked 11th, seventh and eighth in the rankings.
In overall health outcomes, Washington County ranked eighth. The top 10 included, in order, Oldham, Boone, Calloway, Spencer, Woodford, Owen, Scott, Shelby and Fayette counties.
As for neighboring counties, Anderson was ranked 24th, Nelson 25th, Boyle 30th, Marion 37th and Mercer 61st.
Washington County ranked 38th in mortality, which measures premature death. In this study, premature death is measured as years of potential life lost before age 75.
The county was tops in the morbidity category, which measures percentage of residents in poor or fair health (13 percent), average number of poor physical health days per 30 days (2.8), average number of poor mental health days per 30 days (3.6, up from 2.8 in 2011) and low birth weight percentage (6.4 percent).
The county ranked 36th among the state’s 120 counties in health factors. Health factors includes sub-categories such as health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.
Among health behaviors, which the county ranked 30th, adult obesity rates went up from 29 percent in 2011 to 32 percent in 2012. The adult obesity rate is measured by the percent of adults that report a Body Mass Index of greater than or equal to 30.
The motor vehicle crash death rate also increased from 2011, from 31 deaths per 100,000 people to 33 deaths per 100,000 people in 2012.
The teen birth rate dropped from 2011. In the last study, the teen birth rate per 1,000 female population (ages 15-19) was 46. In 2012, that number has dropped to 44.
However, the number of sexually transmitted infections, which measures the chlamydia rate per 100,000 people, increased from 216 in 2011 to 224 in 2012.
In the clinical care rankings, Washington County was ranked 46th. All measurements in this category (percentage of uninsured, primary care physicians, preventable hospital stays, diabetic screenings and mammography screenings) stayed the same from 2011.
In social and economic factors, Washington County ranked 43rd.
The high school graduation rate dropped from 85 percent in 2011 to 81 percent in the 2012. The measurements looks at the percent of the ninth grade cohort that graduates in four years.
However, the percentage of the population with some college education increased from 42 percent in 2011 to 48 percent in 2012. The measurement includes adults aged 25-44 with some post-secondary education.
Unemployment (age 16 or over that is unemployed and seeking work) was down in 2012, dropping from 13.4 percent to 11.4 percent.
The percent of children in poverty climbed to 25 percent, up from 22 percent in 2011. Only 20 percent of the children in the population lived in poverty in 2010, according to the study.
The number of children in single-parent households increased to 30 percent, up from 27 percent in 2011 and only eight percent in 2010.
Washington County ranks 37th in physical environment measures, which include air pollution-particulate matter days, air pollution / ozone days, access to recreational facilities, limited access to healthy foods and percent of all restaurants that are fast food restaurants (62 percent).
To examine the County Health Rankings, go to www.countyhealthrankings.org.