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Brown County ranks among healthiest counties in Minnesota

BROWN COUNTY — Brown County ranks among the healthiest places in Minnesota, according to a study by SmartAsset, a New York-based personal finance technology firm that uses financial modeling to provide advice on major financial decisions.

Brown County ranked second in Minnesota healthcare access, behind only Olmsted County (home of the Mayo Clinic) which ranked as the third healthiest county in the United States, according to the study.

Brown County ranked as the 10th healthiest county in Minnesota with an 82.99 score. It was below the state average in years of potential life lost before age 75, adult smoking (13.2%), excessive drinking (by one-tenth of a percentage point, 21.9%) and uninsured rates, 3.7%.

Brown County was above the state average for adult obesity at 31.5%.

Nicollet County ranked as the fourth healthiest county in Minnesota at 87.16. Olmsted was first at 90.01.

The study considered length of life, health behaviors and healthcare access.

The first factor considered was premature death rate, the years of potential life lost before age 75.

A health behaviors index of each county reflected the healthiest behaviors measured by the percentage of adults that smoke, are obese and report binge or heavy drinking.

Healthcare access was considered a secondary measure of how healthy a county is, given the impact it has on health outcomes. Factors considered included the rate of primary care physicians per 100,000 residents, the percentage of people under age 65 without health insurance.

The Brown County numbers appear to echo to a degree results from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Annual County Rankings and Roadmaps report released in March 2019. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute collaborated on the report the measured vital health factors and outcomes in nearly every county in the country.

Out of Minnesota’s 87 counties, Brown County ranked 16th in health outcomes and seventh in health factors. In 2018, Brown County ranked 12th in health factors and 27th in health outcomes.

Health outcomes are ranks based on length and quality of life.

Health factors represent what influences the health of a county by estimated future health.

Nicollet County ranked third in Minnesota in that 2019 study.

Last year, the leading causes of death examined in Brown County were malignant tumors (80), 28 heart diseases and 20 due to accidents or unintentional injuries.

For more information, visit https://smartasset.com/life-insurance-quotes#minnesota/hca

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com

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