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Where Are The Healthiest Places To Live?
Set the pandemic aside for a moment. If keeping healthy ranks as your top priority, where should you retire or live? You have many choices, of course. One annual study is so bold as to rank hundreds of them: the Healthiest Communities Rankings issued by U.S. News.
These rankings consider ten factors, given roughly equal weight: population health, equity, education levels, local economy, affordability of housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure. Could the healthiest county in the country be Los Alamos County, New Mexico? The 2021 survey ranks it #1 out of 500 U.S. counties (a new edition of the rankings appears each summer). Juneau City and Borough, Alaska ranked #500 last year. Data collection and analysis for the survey comes courtesy of the University of Missouri Extension Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems, dedicated to understanding natural resource systems, public health risks and community health assessment – performed data collection and analysis. Colorado placed five counties in the top ten last year (Broomfield, Douglas, Pitkin, Routt, San Miguel). Two Virginia counties – Falls Church and Loudoun – made the top ten. Howard County, Maryland and Morgan County, Utah were the two others ranked among the ten best.3