Southwest counties rank worst in health ratings - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Southwest counties rank worst in health ratings

The darker the color, the worse the health rating (Source: countyhealthrankings.org) The darker the color, the worse the health rating (Source: countyhealthrankings.org)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

 The 2016 County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), compare health differences on a broad range of measures among almost every county throughout the country. 

The report shows dramatic differences between rural and urban counties on a number of measures, most notably premature deaths rates.

Rural counties not only have higher rates of premature death, but also nearly 1 in 5 rural counties saw rises in premature death rates over the past decade while most large urban counties experienced consistent improvement.

Click HERE to find your county's rating

The map shows that the most healthy counties are in the north-central part of Georgia. The least healthy were in Southwest Georgia.

Here are the top five healthiest Georgia counties-

1    Forsyth 
2    Oconee 
3    Fayette 
4    Harris 
5    Gwinnett 

The bottom ten counties have several in the WALB viewing area.

150    Seminole 
151    Hancock 
152    Randolph 
153    Terrell 
154    Dougherty 
155    Jefferson 
156    Early 
157    Taliaferro 
158    Clay 
159    Quitman

Thomas, Worth, and Lowndes County were in the middle of the pack statewide, while Lee County came in at #18 in Georgia. Baker County was near the top third of counties, at #56.

Dougherty County, fifth from the bottom, had 68 Teen births per 1,000 female population ages 15-19, and 756 Sexually transmitted infections per 100,000 people.

Dougherty had 818 reported violent crime offenses per 100,000 population, an unemployment rate of 9.4%, and an income gap ratio of 6.4, as did Tift and Ben Hill. Clinch County was the worst in the sate at 7.3

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