Sioux County, Iowa tops health rankings list - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux County, Iowa tops health rankings list

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Sioux County, Iowa is on the top of a County Health Ranking list, number one out of all of Iowa's 99 counties. Sioux County, Iowa is on the top of a County Health Ranking list, number one out of all of Iowa's 99 counties.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

When it comes to your health, you probably think its pretty good.  But, how healthy is your community?  Or, your county?

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is out with its rankings of every county, and state, in the nation.

First, the good news.  We're living longer.

Premature death in the U.S. is at it's lowest level in 20 years.  But, the quality of our lives after we're born isn't what it should be.

20% of children are still in poverty, a statistic which hasn't gotten any better since 2000.

Those are just a couple of statistics that factor into overall health.

"It's not one single thing that makes us health or unhealthy. It's actually a variety of factors, such as tobacco use, physical inactivity , and community safety," said Michelle Larkin, RWJF's Health Group.

Which Iowa county is the healthiest?

Sioux County, Iowa is on the top of a County Health Ranking list, number one out of all of Iowa's 99 counties.

"We obviously are happy to see that as a whole, our population is healthy," said Angela Kroeze Visser, Community Health Partners of Sioux County.

It's the second time in three years that the county has been at the top of the "health outcomes" list.

The list shows how counties in Iowa stack up in terms of length and quality of life.

One official describe's Sioux County's secret to success.

"The social and economic factors play a huge role in a population's health, as does access to clinical care and the way that we live and where we live," said Kroeze Visser.

While Sioux County is at the top of the list, Woodbury County ranks 76th in "health outcomes."

However, the county has seen overall improvement in health behaviors contribute to good health.

"Our obesity rates, our in activities, adult smoking rates, STD's," said Michelle Lewis, Health Planner Development Coordinator at the Siouxland District Health Department.

But with work to do in order to climb towards the top, Michelle Lewis says it's going to take a community wide effort.

"It's going to be a collaboration between governmental organizations, private businesses, and potential just private organizations and non-profits, all coming together with their interests, (with) what they're focused on, and it's also all working together," said Lewis.

An effort that might even require looking across county lines.

"If other counties have policies and programs that are focused on those things and they're working positively, then, yeah, it would potentially something that we should start implementing here," said Lewis.

Lyon county ranks second in Iowa.  Wayne County is second in Nebraska.  Lincoln finished third in South Dakota.

To find out where your county ranks on this year's "health outcome" list click here.

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