The County Health Rankings, a system that uses a variety of statistics to measure health factors and outcomes, listed Rankin as the healthiest county (unseating DeSoto, last year's top county), with DeSoto and Madison as Nos.
Health factors section of the rankings looks at socio-economic, behavioral and other health concerns.
Local Tennessee counties fared much better than Southwest Virginia.
The study looks at both health outcomes and health factors in 242 Texas counties to shed a light on health disparities in the state. Taken together, the county is nowhere near where it should be in keeping people healthy, said Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County health commissioner.
62 counties for access to care and quality of care.
Washington County ranked fourth for its health factors and outcomes.
But, she credits most of the county's public health work to its association with a regional group, the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.
Rock County should pay attention to its percentage of children in poverty, Jerome said.
Buncombe County's vast network of community partnerships like the Community Health Improvement Program and annual Community Health Needs Assessments have been a key driver in the county's consistently high performance in the annual rankings.
When it comes to health factors, Forsyth was ranked 43rd.
Other southeastern Wisconsin counties lagged in the rankings.
19 percent of adults in Branch County smoke, 20 percent are excessive drinkers while 32 percent are obese.
Sullivan County remained next to last in the state with health outcomes remaining the same as past year at 61st.
The authors of the report card noted that children in poverty are less likely to have access to quality schools, and have fewer chances to be prepared for higher-wage jobs.
The worst ranked county was Robeson, coming in at 100.
Health outcomes also include quality-of-life indicators such as physical and mental health and babies with low birth weight.
Last year's rankings also had Quitman as the least healthy, followed by Randolph, Clay, Jefferson and Early.
Jerome said that in addition to the data, the study provides resources for communities to improve their approaches to public health.