County ranks 16th in state for health

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For the second year in a row, Covington County has maintained its standing as the 16th healthiest county in the state.

The ranking, which was made public Tuesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides snapshots of community health for more than 3,000 counties throughout the country.

The report outlines each county’s “health outcome,” which represents how healthy a county is by measuring how long people live, or mortality, and how healthy people feel while alive, or morbidity.

Researchers used five categories to make the determination, including the rate of death before 75, the percentage of those who reported being in fair or poor health, low birth weight infant rates and the number of days residents reported being in poor physical or mental health.

It also measured health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic and physical environment factors.

Covington County Health Department Health Service Administrator Ziba Anderson said he was pleased to note the county remained strong in the rankings.

“However, this number could greatly be improved if the county citizens would develop healthier eating habits, become more physically active and choose healthy lifestyles,” Anderson said. “Of course, individuals need to see their health care providers when medically necessary. These are just a few suggestions that could make our county citizens healthier.”

The healthiest counties are Shelby, Lee, Baldwin, Madison, Limestone, Elmore, Morgan, Blount, Houston and Coffee.

Full results are available at