Report ranks healthiest counties in Maryland, Virginia

Northern Virginia is home to the healthiest counties in the commonwealth, while Montgomery and Howard are the healthiest counties in Maryland, a new study found.

The annual County Health Rankings from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, issued Wednesday, ranked the nation’s counties in terms of health factors — those are behaviors that contribute to health such as smoking, diet and exercise, as well as influences such as the number of doctors, public safety and the number of uninsured people. They also ranked health outcomes (statistics such as life expectancy, child and infant mortality).

Montgomery County was placed first in Maryland overall, while Howard, Frederick, Carroll and Calvert counties rounded out the top five.

In Virginia, the northern area of the commonwealth dominated the ratings, with Arlington, Loudoun, Falls Church City, Fairfax and Alexandria City comprising the top five.

The institute’s report doesn’t go on to compare counties from different states, and they say the quartile in which each county places is more important than the specific rank.

The numbers were collected from 2019 data, so the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are not included.

You can have a look at the Maryland rankings and the Virginia rankings, as well as the Maryland numbers and Virginia statistics. D.C. doesn’t have counties to compare, of course, but you can find the District’s numbers online, too.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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