Travis County is ranked as the 5th most healthy Texas county. Here’s why.

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County Health Rankings has released its ordered list of the healthiest counties in the state of Texas on March 29. Out of 243 total counties that reported data to County Health Rankings, Travis County ranked fifth. Here is how County Health Rankings got that number:

1. Residents of Travis County have access to high-quality clinical care and are ranked eighth throughout the state. The county has a ratio of 1,170 residents to 1 primary care physician. The ratio for dentists is 1,470-to-1 and the ratio for mental health providers is 450-to-1. About 84 percent of residents are monitored for diabetes and 62 percent receive mammography screening. Roughly 19 percent of residents are uninsured, which is below the state average.

2. According to County Health Rankings, Travis County residents have the 10th highest quality of life. About 15 percent of residents are in poor or fair health, compared to 19 percent throughout the state of Texas.

3. Travis County also ranks eighth among health behaviors of residents. Approximately 13 percent of adults smoke in comparison to 15 percent throughout Texas. In the county, 20 percent of residents are obese, in comparison to 28 percent throughout Texas and 26 percent among top performing U.S. counties. About 24 percent of residents exhibit excessive drinking habits, which is higher than both the Texas average and U.S. top performing county average at 17 and 12 percent, respectively.

4. In stark contrast to most of Travis County’s high ranking health statistics, residents experience a low-quality physical environment. The county ranks 210 among all Texas counties. Twenty-two percent of those in Travis County experience severe housing problems, in comparison with 9 percent of those living in top performing U.S. counties. Seventy-four percent of Travis County residents drive alone to work and 33 percent of those experience a long commute. Throughout Texas, these numbers are 80 and 36 percent, respectively.

A press release from Austin Public Health said the County Health Rankings are used to show that where we live matters to health. The report, released by theUniversity of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation compares health differences on a broad range of measures among almost every county in the United States. The rankings help counties understand what influences how healthy residents are and how long they will live. To do that, a variety of measures are examined including access to healthy foods, rates of smoking, obesity and teen births.

For more information about how Travis County’s health stacks up alongside other Texas counties, take a look at this report.

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