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Annual ranking shows Whatcom is fifth healthiest county in state

Bethany Allen runs to get in shape for the downhill leg of the Ski to Sea Race at Taylor Dock and Taylor Street on May 10, 2012, in Bellingham. Whatcom County is the fifth healthiest county in Washington state, according to an annual report that measures the health of county residents nationwide.
Bethany Allen runs to get in shape for the downhill leg of the Ski to Sea Race at Taylor Dock and Taylor Street on May 10, 2012, in Bellingham. Whatcom County is the fifth healthiest county in Washington state, according to an annual report that measures the health of county residents nationwide. The Bellingham Herald

Whatcom County is the fifth healthiest county in Washington state, according to the annual report that ranks counties nationwide.

The healthiest county was San Juan; the least healthy was Wahkiakum in southwest Washington, according to the 2016 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps released Wednesday, March 16.

The ranking assesses how healthy residents are and looks at data across more than 30 categories that influence health, including education, housing, jobs, smoking and access to healthy food.

The data provides a snapshot of what counties are doing well and in what areas they need to improve.

“We continue to use the rankings as a starting point to delve more deeply into data that may highlight disparities within the county,” said Regina Delahunt, director of the Whatcom County Health Department.

5Whatcom County rank for healthiest county in Washington state

9 Whatcom County rank in Washington for health factors, which determine future health

Diabetic monitoring, excessive drinking, obesity rates and air quality were among the areas that need to be improved in Whatcom County, according to the report.

Making such improvements will help moving forward, as the county is ranked ninth in the state for health factors, which indicate how healthy residents could be in the future.

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.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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