Two Counties in South Jersey Ranked Least Healthiest in the State
Once again, two counties South Jersey have been named the least healthiest in the state.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute create rankings every year for every county in the nation by collecting information on 30 factors that measure general quality of life standards. Out of all of those factors, you can get a sense of how healthy -- or, in our case, unhealthy, an area is.
Out of New Jersey's 21 counties, Atlantic County ranked 20th and Cumberland County ranked last. Things were slightly better in Cape May County, which ranked as the 17th healthiest county in the state, while Ocean County was #8. Gloucester, Camden, and Salem Counties all ranked below 15th place.
So, why are we so unhealthy in South Jersey? Let's look at the healthiest counties: Hunterdon, Somerset, and Morris ranked 1, 2, and 3 (in fact, this is the 6th year in a row Hunterdon County was ranked #1). Why? There's lots of open space and very wealthy people live there. Wealthy people tend to have insurance, which leads to better health screenings, and staying on top of medical problems.
An interactive map of all of their results can be found here if you wish to see exactly how your county fared.