Residents of North Carolina’s capital county are the healthiest in the state, according to health experts.
County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, said Thursday that Wake has the healthiest residents of any county in the state.
The groups look at dozens of health statistics – from obesity and tobacco use to teen pregnancies and access to hospitals – to determine its rankings. County Health Rankings has given Wake the top grade nearly every year since its 2010 inception except 2015, when it ranked Orange County No. 1.
“Health really translates to quality of life and happiness. And we want that for all Wake County residents,” said Sara Merz, executive director for the nonprofit Advocates for Health in Action.
“This isn’t just about not being sick; it’s about people feeling good,” she said.
The top healthiest counties remained unchanged from 2016, with Orange, Union and Camden rounding out the top four. Durham maintained its spot as the 15th-healthiest county, while Johnston improved from 28th to 21st.
Mecklenburg County, home to Charlotte, fell to the eighth spot after being ranked as the fifth-healthiest county last year.