US News & World Report: St. Johns, Seminole are the healthiest communities in Florida

by | Jun 22, 2022

 

Only two counties cracked the list of the top 500 Healthiest Communities nationwide, according to U.S. News and World Report.

On Wednesday, U.S. News and World Report and CVS Health released their fifth annual Healthiest Communities rankings. The duo analyzed data and assessed counties on a 100-point scoring system tied to how they perform relative to one another across 10 health-related categories, ranging from education and the economy to community vitality, equity, infrastructure and public safety. They receive a ranking based on their performance as well.

In total, 89 factors were analyzed to rank the health of people in around 3,000 counties across America.

“The data behind the healthiest communities rankings provides a deep dive into the state of health equity in our country,” said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News. “By examining data on natural hazards, we can see how various demographic populations are affected by the risks tied to their environment.”

While no Florida county ranked in the top 100, two landed in the top 500 – St. Johns County was ranked at 181 and Seminole County at 441.

According to the report, St. Johns resident are in pretty good shape. The northeastern county, with a total of 72 points overall in the ranking system, drew high marks for health and nutrition, education, and economy. Notably, St. Johns boasted a 94% high school graduation rate — higher than the 89.4% national median. The county’s smoking rate of 16.4% was also lower than the national media (20%).

St. Johns, however, scored poorly in environment and equity.

Meanwhile, Seminole County, with a total score of 64, earned high marks in education, economy, and infrastructure. Seminole’s score was largely driven by its lower-than-average poverty rate (9.8%) and its commitment to broadband access, which it received a perfect score for (100%).

Seminole’s lowest scores were in equity, housing, and community vitality.

Sarasota County, which went unranked overall, was the third-ranked community in the state, with an average score of 62.

Additionally, the report found that the healthiest community was Los Alamos County in New Mexico, followed by Falls Church City in Virginia and Douglas County in Colorado.

“We all know the significant impact that social determinants have on the health and well-being of individuals and our local communities,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, vice president and chief health equity officer, CVS Health, said in a statement. “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.”

To view the full rankings, click here.

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