With New Year’s coming up, living a healthier lifestyle may be one of your resolutions for 2016. It can certainly lead to longer and happier years…but have you ever wondered which places in Washington have the healthiest residents overall?
It could be difficult to totally rank, seeing as that it depends on each individual. From lifestyle behaviors to clinical care available, there’s a wide range of things that contribute to our well being. Thankfully, County Health Rankings measured it for us, and determined their rankings from the average length and quality of life, as well as health, social, and economical factors. Out of our 39 counties, these 12 reported having some of the healthiest people in the state – based off this recent
: 2015 Washington County Health Report
12. Columbia County
This county next to Walla Walla may be small, but their physical environment was ranked first in keeping residents healthy. The air pollution is lower here than anywhere else in the state!
Biggest city: Dayton
The Tri-Cities area is home to a number of residents enjoying long, healthy lives! The average length of life around here was noted to be much higher than most other counties in Washington.
Kennewick, Richland, Benton City, Prosser, West Richland Biggest cities:
10. Walla Walla County
Studies have shown that drinking a glass of wine a day is good for you, and the Walla Walla area proves that totally true. Residents around here reported a lower average percentage of unhealthy behaviors like smoking, the air pollution was much lower, and there was a notably high amount of quality health care available - particularly primary care physicians.
Notable cities: Walla Walla, College Place, Waitsburg, Prescott
9. Douglas County
Between the lower percentages of unhealthy factors like smoking, obesity, and excessive drinking, it's no surprise residents in this county reported living a higher average amount of years.
Biggest towns: East Wenatchee, Waterville, Rock Island, Bridgeport, Mansfield
8. Thurston County
Home to our state's capital, Thurston County was ranked as one of the top areas in our state because of their social & economic factors that can affect your health, like education & unemployment. The area's also lucky to boast a number of clinical care options, including the huge Providence St. Peters Hospital.
Biggest cities: Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm
7. Snohomish County
Not only did Snohomish rank high on social & economical factors (including education and a low unemployment rate), but they had a higher amount of local exercise opportunities.
Largest cities: Everett, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Marysville
6. Island County
What's more soothing to the soul than a stunning view on Whidbey Island? As far as actual stats, this county is home to a higher amount of insured residents. It also has a higher percentage of the population with access to locations for physical activity.
Biggest towns: Oak Harbor, Coupeville
5. King County
Not everyone by the big city practices a healthy lifestyle, but it's definitely not uncommon to find residents in this area who pay attention to their overall well being. According to the county health stats for 2015, there's an abundance of clinical care options available here and a low percentage of physical inactivity.
Biggest cities: Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, Kent
4. Whatcom County
This county in the northwestern corner of Washington was noted to have a longer average length of life, and a lower percentage for nearly every unhealthy behavior such as smoking. They also have a higher percentage on social & economical factors, including a college education.
Biggest cities: Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Blaine
3. Kittitas County
Being right in the middle of our state, this area isn't far from some incredible hiking and outdoor opportunities to keep residents in shape. As far as the stats go, Kittitas ranked 3rd because of their higher average length of life, and social & economic factors like high school graduation.
Notable cities: Ellensburg, Cle Elum, Roslyn, Thorp
2. San Juan County
They say stress impacts your health, but I certainly can't imagine being stressed out while living on the stunning San Juan Islands. Their numbers rank them as the second healthiest county in our state, with a remarkably low percentage in factors like obesity and physical inactivity.
Biggest towns: Friday Harbor, Eastsound
1. Whitman County
Being home to a big college town, you might have not expected this county to be ranked as the healthiest of all. But the 2015 stats show that residents around here are living long & healthy lives! The area had lower percentages for health behaviors like smoking, and they ranked first in social & economic factors - particularly high school and post-secondary education.
Biggest cities: Pullman, Colfax, Palouse, Rosalia, Tekoa, Oakesdale
As a whole, Washington ranked as the 11th healthiest state in the U.S. For more detailed numbers and information, please feel free to refer to these
County Health Rankings.