WilCo ranked 4th-healthiest Texas county—find out why

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

1. Residents of Williamson County have access to high-quality clinical care and are ranked second throughout the state in this category. The county has a ratio of 1,490 residentsto every primary care physician. The ratio for dentists is 1,910-to-1, but the ratio for mental health providers is about 1,190-to-1; Travis County has a 450-1 ratio. About 86 percent of residents are monitored for diabetes, and 68 percent receive mammography screenings. Roughly 13 percent of residents are uninsured, which is below the state average.

2. According to County Health Rankings, Williamson County residents have the seventh-highest quality of life among reporting Texas counties. About 13 percent of residents are in poor or fair health, compared to 19 percent throughout the state.

3. Williamson County ranked fourth among social and economic factors. The high school graduation rate in the county is 95 percent, and the unemployment rate is 3.5 percent. Also within the county, approximately 12 percent of adults smoke in comparison to 15 percent throughout Texas. Additionally, 31 percent of county residents are obese in comparison to 28 percent throughout Texas and 26 percent among top-performing U.S. counties. About 19 percent of residents exhibit excessive drinking habits, which is higher than both the Texas average and U.S. top-performing county average of 17 and 12 percent, respectively.

4. In contrast to most of Williamson County’s high-ranking health statistics, residents experience a low-quality physical environment. The county ranks 191 among all reporting Texas counties. Thirteen percent of those in Williamson County experience severe housing problems, in comparison with 9 percent of those living in top-performing U.S. counties. Eighty one percent of Williamson County residents drive alone to work, and 42 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 Williamson County’s health stacks up alongside other Texas counties, take a look at this report.


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