Smile big if you live in Douglas County, Colorado! Your community has been ranked second nationwide as the healthiest community in America, according to the 2020 Healthiest Communities rankings by U.S. News and World Report, released in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation.
Los Alamos, New Mexico ranked No. 1. Colorado performed exceptionally well in the 2020 Healthiest Communities rankings, with 17 counties in the top 100 and six in the top 10. The full rankings and the means to search county profiles are available now.
The third annual Healthiest Communities report and accompanying analysis are based on a methodology evaluating nearly 3,000 counties and county equivalents nationwide across 84 health-related metrics in 10 categories: community vitality, equity, economy, education, environment, food & nutrition, population health, housing, infrastructure and public safety, assessing which communities offer their citizens the greatest opportunity to live a productive, healthy life.
The 2020 Healthiest Communities rankings are also accompanied by new tools tracking COVID-19. Due to the unknown longevity of the coronavirus pandemic, specific COVID-19 data is not included in the Healthiest Communities analysis and rankings. However, the rankings include data relevant to the pandemic, such as the county-level prevalence of obesity and diabetes – two comorbidities that place patients at a higher risk of severe COVID-19.
The rankings explore how communities across the United States are working to improve the health of their residents. The platform informs citizens, health care leaders and elected officials about the local policies and practices in place that drive better health outcomes for all.
“Our Core Priorities – achieved in part through partnership with local, regional, state and federal governments, the private sector, and the faith-based community – contribute to the foundational elements for healthy communities,” said County Commissioner and Board Chair, Roger Partridge.
“This includes our collective investment in Transportation, Economic Foundations, Historic and Natural Resources, Health and Human Services, County Services, and Public Safety, including our four-year-old Mental Health Initiative,” Partridge said.
“The notoriety of this achievement is a tribute to the residents of Douglas County, as well as the leadership in our business community, cities, towns, and special districts,” said Lora Thomas, Douglas County Commissioner and Board Vice Chair.
“In a year of unprecedented public health emphasis, this exceptional distinction reminds us how well-positioned Douglas County citizens are to remain healthy and thrive. We remain thankful for hundreds of miles of trails to hike, bike or explore on horseback and 64,544 acres of protected Open Space which contribute mightily to the health and well-being our citizens’ experience,” said Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon.
Additionally, in 2020, Douglas County ranks No. 1 in Colorado for overall health outcomes for the fifth consecutive year, according to the 2020 “County Health Rankings” report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.