Where Is NJ’s Healthiest County? Hunterdon At Top, Study Shows [AUDIO]
Is your county the healthiest in New Jersey? A new statewide health checkup by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute shows where people tend to live longer and have a better quality of life.
Hunterdon County is New Jersey’s healthiest, while Cumberland County ranks as the least healthy, according to the study.
It measured factors such as adult smoking and obesity, excessive drinking and the rate of motor vehicle deaths, as well as the quality of clinical care, environmental factors and the violent crime rate.
“Does your county have good schools, are you living near a grocery store that has fresh fruits and vegetables available, do you have places to exercise…these are all factors of what makes up a healthy county versus a non-healthy county” said Brenda Henry, spokeswoman at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“The County Health Rankings show us that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office. In fact, where we live, learn, work and play has a big role in determining how healthy we are and how long we live,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”
Henry says while New Jersey has a clean indoor air act that bans smoking in most public places, smoking is a huge health risk that contributes to the least healthy counties.
“Lower levels of smoking, better education, lower levels of poverty, all of those things tend to be associated with better health beahviors overall.”
There’s also a big difference between the top and bottom of the rankings, said Henry. A person in Cumberland County is twice as likely to die a premature death as someone living in Hunterdon County.
Salem and Cumberland counties also had the highest rates of obesity.
Rounding out the top five healthiest counties were Somerset, Morris, Bergen and Monmouth counties.
The least healthy counties include Camden, Atlantic, Hudson and Salem.
Hunterdon and Cumberland counties also ranked at the top and bottom of last year’s study.
How healthy is your county? Click here to find out.