Report: For third year, Whatcom County is fifth healthiest county in the state

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 26, 2014 

Whatcom County is once again the fifth healthiest county in Washington, according to the annual report that ranks nearly every county in the nation.

It's the third year in a row that Whatcom County has landed in fifth place.

The healthiest county was San Juan; the least healthy was Pacific, according to the 2014 County Health Rankings released Wednesday, March 26.

The ranking assesses how healthy residents are and looks at data across 29 categories to arrive at an overall ranking.

The report also suggests areas that need improvement, including a newly added housing category. By that measure, Whatcom County ranks as one of the counties in the state with the highest rate of severe housing problems, according to a news release from the county Health Department.

One in five people - or 20 percent - have at least one severe housing problem, such as overcrowding, high cost or lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities.

The rankings are a collaboration of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Find the full report at countyhealthrankings.org.

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