Nassau County rated as 10th healthiest county in Florida
April 7, 2016
Nassau County has been rated the 10th healthiest county among Florida’s 67 counties in 2016 according to a national study. The comparative study conducted annually as a joint project between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Institute, ranked Nassau County well above last year’s rank of 24.
The study ranks counties on two major categories: quality of life factors and health outcomes. Nassau County ranked sixth in the state for quality of life. Determining the quality–of-life half equation is complex as thirty-four indicators are measured and weighted under the headings of social and economic factors (40 percent), health behaviors (30 percent), access to clinical care (20 percent) and environmental factors (10 percent).
Health outcomes include statistics on the average life span of county residents and the number of premature deaths due to illness and accidents. The health outcomes score lowered Nassau to number ten, overall.
No one factor determines how well a county did in the rankings, but Nassau County experienced incremental improvements in several areas. A change in the way sick days were calculated also worked in the county’s favor.
Though Nassau County’s overall ranking rose over the past year, challenges remain in some crucial areas. Rates for obesity and excessive drinking remain a concern as well the low ratio of primary physicians to the population served: 2,520 citizens to one primary physician. While Nassau ranked ninth in the state in the clinical care category last year, the score dropped to 17 for 2016.
Two Northeast Florida counties - St. Johns County and Clay County - ranked number one and number six, respectively. Neighboring Duval County came in at 48 among the 67 Florida counties.