How healthy is your county compared to the rest of Massachusetts?


A new study found significant differences in health outcomes among counties across Bay State.

Some good news for Bay Staters – the University of Wisconsin’s 2023 ranking of the healthiest counties in the US shows it Massachusetts residents have significantly better health outcomes on average as a majority of Country.

However, the rankings also show that people are there Some counties in Massachusetts are significantly healthier than those in others.

Massachusetts counties ranked by health:

  1. Nantucket
  2. middle sex
  3. Norfolk
  4. dukes
  5. Hampshire
  6. Plymouth
  7. Essex
  8. Franklin
  9. barn stable
  10. Worcester
  11. suffolk
  12. Bristol
  13. Berkshire
  14. hampden
The University of Wisconsin has ranked Massachusetts counties based on how healthy their residents are. –

Why some countries are healthier than others

While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes certain counties to have better health outcomes than others, the study found many insightful results when comparing the state’s two healthiest counties to the bottom two.

By far the biggest difference was the rate of premature deaths. The study found that Hampden and Berkshire counties have about twice as many premature deaths as Nantucket and Middlesex counties.

Additionally, people in Berkshire and Hampden counties report having significantly more days of poor physical and mental health than people in Nantucket and Middlesex counties.

While there was significant variation among all Massachusetts counties in terms of the “health behaviors” considered in the study, the study shows some consistent differences between the top two and bottom two counties. The bottom two districts both had significantly higher rates of smoking, physical inactivity, and teenage births than the top two.

Socioeconomic Factors

The study found that socioeconomic factors affecting health outcomes were consistently different between the top two and bottom two counties in Massachusetts.

Most notably, the study found that child poverty rates in the lower two counties were more than double those in the upper two counties, with Hampden County having a significantly higher rate than the country on average. While the country averages a 17% child poverty rate, Hampden County has been found to have a staggering 25%.

This could be related to the fact that significantly higher child rates in single-parent households were also found in the two lowest districts.

Other notable socioeconomic differences found by the study include the top two counties having much higher college attendance rates and much lower injury-related death rates.

Massachusetts ranks highly when it comes to access to healthcare

Although the study found that health outcomes were significantly better in certain Massachusetts counties, the state as a whole compared very well to the national average in terms of access to health care.

The study found two main contributing factors.

First, Massachusetts was found to have significantly lower rates of uninsured residents than the national average at 3% and 10%, respectively. This is likely due to the state’s high median income and the fact that MassHealth is available to both low-income and some middle-income residents.

Second, it was found that physicians in Massachusetts serve fewer patients than physicians nationwide, and therefore have more availability and can devote more time to each patient.

This has been found to apply to all types of healthcare professionals, from GPs to dentists to mental health professionals.

Massachusetts residents are healthier overall

But Massachusetts residents also seem to behave healthier than the national average. The study found that we have significantly lower rates of adult smoking, obesity, sexually transmitted infections, and teenage births.

Massachusetts also performed well in comparison to the rest of the country in many other areas. The study found that we have significantly higher college enrollment and voter turnout, and significantly lower rates of child poverty, injury-related deaths, homicides, suicides, gun deaths, car accidents, and air pollution.

The only areas where Massachusetts fared significantly worse than the country, on average, were avoidable hospitalizations, alcohol-related deaths from car accidents, and income inequality.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the study found that Massachusetts has a much lower rate of premature deaths than the state average.

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