Only 37 more to go. Hennepin County moved up to 38th place in the latest ranking of 87 Minnesota counties based on health outcomes. That’s a jump of six places from last year, when Hennepin finished in the middle of the pack in 44th place, as previously reported by TCB.

The annual county health ranking in each state is compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.

The two groups give each county in each state a ranking in two categories: health outcomes and health factors. To determine a county’s health outcomes ranking, they look at five measures:
  • Premature death
  • Poor or fair health
  • Poor physical health days
  • Poor mental health days
  • Low birthweight

To determine a county’s health factors ranking, they look at 30 different measures in four categories:
  • Health behaviors
  • Clinical care
  • Social and economic factors
  • Physical environment

In the group’s report on Minnesota (downloadable here), Hennepin ranked 38th on health outcomes and 24th on health factors. Neighboring Ramsey Country ranked 64th on health outcomes and 65th on health factors this year.

Carver County was a repeat champion for health outcomes, ranking first in 2016 and again this year. Same for Olmsted County, which was No. 1 for health factors in 2016 and 2017.

Overall, Minnesota again scored better on all five health outcome measures than the U.S. median for all states. For example, only 12 percent of adult residents here reported being in poor or fair health compared with 16 percent of adults across the country.

The state scored the same or better on 23 of 30 health factors measures than the U.S. median for all states. Among the seven measures where Minnesota fell short were excessive drinking rate (21 percent versus 17 percent nationally) and sexually transmitted disease rate (367.3 per 100,000 people versus 294.8 per 100,000 people nationally).

The state scored better than the U.S. median on all seven clinical care measures included in the 30 health factors metrics. Minnesota had fewer uninsured residents, more doctors, more dentists, more mental health professionals, fewer preventable hospital stays, more diabetes monitoring and more mammography screenings than the U.S. median for all states. 

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