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Baltimore County Ranked Below Average in Healthiness

More adults smoke, are physically inactive and the county has more unemployed residents than the state average.

Baltimore County ranked as the 13th healthiest county in Maryland out of the state's 24 counties and Baltimore City, according to a ranking of counties across the United States.

The rankings were released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and assessed the health of nearly every county in the country.

Researchers examined health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors as well as the physical environment, according to a press release. The rankings also take into account the number of fast food restaurants in a community, as well as how physically active or inactive residents are.

In Baltimore County, the ratio of the population to primary care physicians was 614 to 1, compared to 631 to 1 in the state as a whole.

Also, 12 percent of Baltimore County residents are uninsured, compared to 11 percent nationally, and 13 percent in Maryland, data shows.

More adults smoke in Baltimore County than the state and national averages and more people are physically inactive compared to both averages as well, according to the study.

Eight percent of the county's population is unemployed, compared to 7.5 percent in Maryland, but the county has fewer children living under the poverty line than the state average.

Baltimore City, which lagged behind the state in premature death rates, low birth rates, smoking and other factors, was ranked 24th in Maryland, as the least healthiest area of the state, according to the study.

A sampling of other county rankings in Maryland: Howard County was ranked first, Montgomery County second in the state, Harford ninth, Carroll County fifth, Anne Arundel was 10th, and Prince George’s was 15th.

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