DENVER, CO – Denver ranks as one of the healthiest counties in Colorado this year according to the recently released County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.

County Health Rankings has been published annually for a decade and is a program directed by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute. The aim of the ranking is to help communities better address disparities in access to health care.

The ranking looks at a variety of interventions that affect a community’s health, including graduation rates and access to healthy food. Smoking, obesity, and teen birth rates are also included.

This year’s ranking not only assigns a number ranking to each county, but also compares each county to other counties in a state before dividing it into one of four levels, or quartiles, ranging from most to the least healthy.

Overall, Denver ranked 24th among all counties in Colorado.

In terms of health outcomes, Denver was ranked in the second highest grade, meaning it ranks higher than 50 percent of the other counties in Colorado. In terms of health factors, our district was ranked 30th.

Douglas County was ranked # 1 as the healthiest county in the state.

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The 2021 County Health Rankings do not reflect coronavirus cases or deaths, according to researchers who released this year’s results primarily to provide insight into the impact on a community’s health long before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These gaps in opportunity need to be filled if we are to have a fair, inclusive and equitable recovery from the pandemic,” the organization wrote on its website.

The organization expects the coronavirus data to be reflected in the rankings of 2022.

It was also suggested that counties that entered the pandemic with fewer opportunities to improve the health of residents will leave them with “an even greater burden”.

“This crisis has only deepened the preventable and unfair gaps that black, Latin American, Indigenous and some Asian American communities faced prior to COVID-19 in jobs with fair wages, housing, education and more,” the organization said on its website .

Here is a look at the measures taken to calculate the overall ranking of our district:

Health outcomes

  • Premature death
  • Adults who report fair or poor health
  • Physically unhealthy days have been reported in the past 30 days
  • Mentally unhealthy days have been reported in the past 30 days
  • Live births with low birth weights

Health determinants – health behavior

  • Adult smokers
  • Obesity in Adults
  • Healthy Food Environment Index
  • Physical inactivity
  • Residents with access to exercise facilities
  • Excessive drinking
  • Deaths from alcohol disorders
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Teen births

Health determinants – clinical

  • Uninsured residents
  • Family doctors
  • dentists
  • Mental health providers
  • Avoidable hospital stays
  • Mammography screenings
  • Flu shots

Health factors – socially and economically

  • High School
  • University education
  • unemployment
  • Children in poverty
  • Income inequality
  • Children in single parent households
  • Social associations
  • Violent crime
  • Injury deaths

County Health Rankings used data from a variety of sources to create this year’s rankings.