Elbert County One of Georgia’s Unhealthiest Counties

March 21, 2013

Wondering what the healthiest counties are in Georgia? Forsyth, Fayette, Oconee, Gwinnett, and Cherokee counties are the top five based on some number crunching from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.

The bottom five you might ask? Are Wilcox, McDuffie, Terrell, Stewart, and Clay counties.

The list is based on a variety of factors, including mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, clinical care, social/economic factors and physical environment.

Abbey Cofsky with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says its new county-by-county health rankings show a number of things help determine how healthy Americans are.

“There’s a variety of factors such as behaviors whether it is our tobacco use or healthy eating”, said Cofsky. “Also the safety of our community, and the quality of our education and healthcare.”

She says social factors such as a county’s level of families living in poverty can influence its health ranking.

“The healthiest counties in the US, they typically have lower rates of children living in poverty”, explained Cofsky. “They also have more residents attending post secondary education.”

Twenty-five factors make up the overall rating for each county across the 50 states.

Elbert County ranks towards the bottom half of Georgia’s 159 counties, coming in at 112th on the list.

Of the surrounding counties, only Madison County is considered unhealthier, ranked at 123rd.

Oglethorpe County is by far the healthiest ranked at 24th, Hart County ranked 45th, Lincoln County ranked 67th, and Wilkes County ranked in the middle of the pack at 86th.

The 2013 rankings can be found online at CountyHealthRankings.org.