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Washtenaw County Tops in 'Health Factors' among Michigan Counties

Mar 27, 2014

Washtenaw County finds itself at the top of the list of Michigan's healthiest counties for the fifth straight year.

Credit eWashtenaw.org

The "health factors" rankings compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute consider things like the availability of parks and recreational facilities, along with social and economic factors. 

Susan Cerniglia is Public Information Officer for Washtenaw County Public Health.  She says they know there's a strong foundation for good health in the county.

"On the other hand we also know that there's still a lot of work to be done, and a lot of work to be done together, to really make sure that our entire community is able to make healthy choices for themselves and for their families," Cerniglia said.

The ranking points out some important variations based on where people live, how much money they earn, their education level and their race and ethnicity. 

Overall, infant mortality rates have improved.  But black infants still die at almost twice the rate of white infants in Washtenaw County.  The average age of death is over 76 years in Ann Arbor, but it starts at 64 years in Ypsilanti Township.