The latest installment of an annual ranking of U.S. counties by health factors and health outcomes finds that disparities persist between urban and rural parts of Arkansas, with the disparities mostly favoring urban counties over rural counties.
Released today (March 29), the new rankings from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps rate Benton, Washington, and Saline counties as first, second, and third, respectively, in Arkansas in terms of overall health outcomes. The three counties held the same positions in last year’s rankings. The lowest-ranked counties this year are Lee (73rd), Monroe (74th), and Phillips (75th) ― and other Delta counties also tend to rank below counties in other parts of the state. Monroe and Phillips counties held the same rankings last year, but last year’s 73rd-ranked county, Mississippi, moves to 72nd this year.
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, ranks each state’s counties for overall health outcomes (length of life and quality of life, the latter based on self-reported health status and low birthweight rate) and overall health factors (health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment) among county residents. Top-ranking counties have the most favorable health outcomes and health factors, while the bottom-ranking counties have the least favorable health outcomes and health factors.
Comparisons are also provided between Arkansas and the U.S. for each measure. Arkansas’s health outcomes are less favorable than the nation’s in every reported measure.
For overall health factors, Benton, Saline, and Washington counties rank first, second, and third, respectively, while Lee (73rd), Chicot (74th), and Phillips (75th) are the lowest-ranked. Arkansas’s health factors are less favorable than the nation’s in 22 of the 28 reported measures that were included in the overall rankings. Some of these measures include: