How healthy is your county? The 10 best and 10 worst in Michigan

Mar 20, 2013

A new survey shows your health may depend on where you live in Michigan.

The University of Wisconsin puts out an annual assessment of the health of the nation’s counties. The survey compares different factors, including access to clinical care and personal habits, like smoking.

As you may expect, counties surrounding Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids score high on the survey, but so do several counties in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

“The rankings tell us that health is more than what happens inside of a doctor’s office,” said Angela Russell, an associate researcher at the University of Wisconsin’s Public Health Institute, “It includes access to healthy foods…access to good educational opportunities… and access to recreational facilities.”

Leelanau County topped the state rankings for the second year in a row.  The northern Michigan county gets high marks partly because of its recreational facilities and low adult smoking rates.

Wayne County ranked last in the state, primarily because of the county’s high mortality rate and a variety of social factors.

According to the survey, here are the top ten healthiest counties in Michigan:

1. Leelanau
2. Ottawa
3. Clinton
4. Livingston
5. Washtenaw
6. Alger
7. Grand Traverse
8. Charlevoix
9. Benzie
10. Houghton

And here are the ten least healthy counties in Michigan:

1. Wayne
2. Alcona
3. Genesee
4. Arenac
5. Calhoun
6. Alpena
7. Kalkaska
8. Clare
9. Saginaw
10. Gladwin