is the fifth healthiest county in the state, according to a ranking of counties across the United States released this week.
The rankings were released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of study that assessed the health of nearly every county in the country.
Researchers looked at health within counties by examining health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors as well as the physical environment, according to a press release. The rankings also took into account the number of fast food restaurants in a community, as well as how physically active residents are.
Some of the data revealed in the study showed positive signs since the system was first unveiled in 2010, such as improvement in Carroll County’s violent crime rate. However, little progress has been made in other areas: the percentage of adults who smoke remains level in Carroll County at 20 percent, while it dropped in the rest of the state.
Much of the data used to produce the rankings is from the same sources that The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County is including in its current Community Health Needs Assessment project, according to a Healthy Carroll news release. The Partnership has tracked local health data since 2006 via its "Healthy Carroll Vital Signs" program. Data is reported on the organization’s web site, www.HealthyCarroll.org.
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 was second, Anne Arundel was 10th, Baltimore County was 13th and Prince George’s was 15th.
To view the entire set of County Health Rankings for individual counties and states, including data for Carroll County, visit www.CountyHealthRankings.org.