Northwest Iowa — Sioux County has been ranked the second healthiest county in Iowa in which to live, according to a report just released by countyhealthrankings.org. Last year’s report had Sioux County rated #1.
The new report ranks all 99 of Iowa’s counties for their health, based on criteria like access to good doctors, education, and affordable housing. Katie Wehr, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, saya host of key factors like, where we live, play a definite role in how well we live, and for how long.
The new rankings list Iowa’s five healthiest counties as: Grundy, Sioux, Cedar, Dallas and Winneshiek, while the five counties in the poorest health are: Monona, Appanoose, Decatur, Audubon and Lee. Lyon County is ranked #8 in the latest report, with O’Brien coming in at #21, and Osceola County ranking #54 out of Iowa’s 99 counties.
Wehr says the rankings are a starting point, not an ending point, and there’s always room for improvement.
She says the local-level information makes it clear good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education and jobs.
The new report says poverty limits opportunity and increases the chance of poor health. Children in poverty are less likely to have access to well-resourced and quality schools, and have fewer chances to be prepared for living wage jobs. The report reveals that in Iowa, 15-percent of children live in poverty, compared to the national rate of 20-percent.
For a complete look at the Iowa rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.