Collin County residents live longer and feel healthier than people from any other part of the state.
Collin County tops the list of Texas counties when it comes to health, with Denton fourth and Rockwall seventh. Tarrant County came in at 41st, while Dallas County lagged at 77. Brooks County, in South Texas, was the least healthy.
That’s according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute, which ranks the health of nearly every county in the country.
Access to medical care, sleep patterns and drug overdose deaths are some of the factors used to measure the health of counties. Since where you live is a strong predictor of health, researchers analyzed housing conditions, employment and education levels and compared the health of people living in cities to those in rural communities.
When ranking counties by rates of sexually transmitted infections, smoking, obesity and teenage pregnancy, among others, Dallas County drops even lower on the list – from 77th to 140th.The reports authors say these types of measures can predict the future health of a community and highlight areas where public health interventions are most needed.
The interactive report lets you compare the health of your community to your neighbor’s. Dallas residents would find, for example, that they are more likely to be uninsured than a resident of Tarrant County and that they may have a harder time finding a doctor or a dentist. Tarrant County has more primary care physicians and dentists per resident than Dallas County.
Among large Texas counties, Travis County was the healthiest, coming in at No. 9.
The report has been published annually for seven years, which means you can track your county’s health over time.
Since the last report was published in 2015, Dallas has dropped 20 places from 57th to 77th.
Collin County, on the other hand, jumped from second place to first.
Here’s a look at the Top 10:
5. Fort Bend
The Top 10 is a mix of suburban and small counties, with Travis County the most urban on the list. Williamson, home of Round Rock and Georgetown, is just north of Travis County. Fort Bend County is near Harris County and Houston, and Kendall County is outside Bexar County and San Antonio. The three smallest counties in the Top 10 are Hartley in the Texas Panhandle, Mills in Central Texas and Concho outside San Angelo.