Iowa’s counties ranked for health

Des Moines, Iowa – A 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, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says a 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. Chickasaw County was 5th on the list, Mitchell County was 10th and Floyd County finished in the middle of the pack.

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.

View the entire list at


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