4 R.I. counties among U.S. News’ top 250 healthiest communities

PROVIDENCE –  Four of Rhode Island’s five counties landed in the top 250 of U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Healthiest Communities Rankings released Wednesday.

The ranking, based on a survey of 3,000 counties nationwide, was produced in collaboration with CVS Health Corp. and measures 84 metrics across 10 health-related categories, including population health, equity, education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure. Only the top 500 counties are ranked.

“We all know the significant impact that social determinants have on the health and
well-being of individuals and our local communities,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, vice
president and chief health equity officer for CVS Health. “The data we collect helps us
determine the best way to collaborate with communities to develop sustainable
solutions and advance health equity in a way that meets their unique needs.”

The Ocean State has the largest proportion of counties to make the top 500 in the nation, with two, Bristol County and Newport County, ranked in the top 100.

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Bristol County is ranked 41st, scoring 80 in population health, 71 in equity, 80 in education, 75 in economy, 70 in housing, 67 in food and nutrition, 65 in environment, 78 in public safety, 56 in community vitality, and 86 in infrastructure.

Washington County is ranked 72nd, scoring 77 in population health, 71 in equity, 79 in education, 73 in economy, 52 in housing, 79 in food and nutrition, 65 in environment, 68 in public safety, 68 in community vitality, and 74 in infrastructure.

Newport County is ranked 203rd, scoring 81 in population health, 55 in equity, 71 in education, 70 in economy, 54 in housing, 71 in food and nutrition, 65 in environment, 64 in public safety, 55 in community vitality, and 83 in infrastructure.

Kent County is ranked 227th, scoring 71 in population health, 71 in equity, 64 in education, 76 in economy, 49 in housing, 60 in food and nutrition, 63 in environment, 74 in public safety, 55 in community vitality, and 85 in infrastructure.

Providence County, which was not ranked in the top 500, scored 66 in population health, 30 in equity, 53 in education, 71 in economy, 41 in housing, 54 in food and nutrition, 59 in environment, 67 in public safety, 35 in community vitality, and 84 in infrastructure.

In 2021, Rhode island had the same four counties in the top 250 and Providence again falling outside the top 500.

Los Alamos County, New Mexico is ranked the top healthiest county in the U.S. this year, scoring 94 in population health, 80 in equity, 70 in education, 79 in economy, 100 in housing, 76 in food and nutrition, 86 in environment, 90 in public safety, 71 in community vitality, and 94 in infrastructure.

In Massachusetts, eight of the commonwealth’s 14 counties are ranked the top 500, including three reaching the top 100, Nantucket is 44th, Norfolk is 66th and Middlesex is 76th.

Bristol County, Mass., did not reach the top 500., scoring 56 in population health, 57 in equity, 62 in education, 69 in economy, 53 in housing, 61 in food and nutrition, 62 in environment, 50 in public safety, 49 in community vitality, and 71 in infrastructure.

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