When it comes to overall health, Alabama ranks #43 out of 50. Yikes! Even though Alabama is one of the unhealthiest U.S. states, it’s still comprised of many residents choosing to live a healthy lifestyle.
1. Shelby County
Shelby County is Alabama's fastest growing county. It's also the state's healthiest and wealthiest county. The county seat is Columbiana. Shelby County encompasses additional cities, some of which include Alabaster, Chelsea and Montevallo. With many different types of recreational activities located throughout Shelby County, it's easy to understand why only 12% of its population experiences poor to fair health, and why it ranks #1 for overall quality of life.
2. Baldwin County
Baldwin County, located along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, is the second healthiest county in Alabama. The county seat is Bay Minette. Some of the other cities in this health-conscious county include Daphne, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fairhope. Only 13% of Baldwin County's population experiences poor to fair health, and it ranks #2 for overall quality of life.
3. Lee County
The county seat of Lee County is Opelika, and its largest city is Auburn. Lee County offers an abundance of recreational activities year-round, and only 18% of its population experiences poor to fair health.
4. Madison County
The best-known city in Madison County is Huntsville. Huntsville is the county seat and home to both the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Monte Sano State Park. Only 14% of Madison County's population experiences poor to fair health. One of the many reasons why the residents of Madison County are healthy is because 81% of them have access to exercise opportunities.
5. Coffee County
The county seat of Coffee County is Elba, and the best known city is Enterprise - home of the famous boll weevil monument. Coffee County ranks #3 for overall quality of life, and only 18% of its population experiences poor to fair health.
6. Limestone County
Limestone County's best-known city is Athens, which is also the county seat. The many different types of recreational activities Limestone County offers include hiking, biking and kayaking. Only 21% of its population experiences poor to fair health.
7. Elmore County
Wetumpka is the county seat of Elmore County. With only 17% of Elmore County's population experiencing poor to fair health, it also ranks #11 for overall quality of life.
8. Houston County
Houston County's most popular city is Dothan, which is also the county seat. Dothan produces one-fourth of the nation's peanuts and is known as the "Peanut Capital of the World." Houston County has a low number of smokers and drinkers, with only 21% of its population experiencing poor to fair health.
9. Dale County
The two largest cities in Dale County are Ozark and Daleville, with Ozark being the county seat. Both of these cities form two borders of Fort Rucker. Poor to fair health is experienced by 21% of Dale County's population.
10. Autauga County
Prattville is the county seat of Autauga County. There are several parks and trails located throughout this Alabama county, so it's safe to say outdoor recreation is plentiful. With 23% of Autauga County's population experiencing poor to fair health, 74% of its population has access to exercise opportunities.