Results of a study released Wednesday (March 20) show Benton County residents are the healthiest in the state.
The five healthiest counties in Arkansas, starting with most healthy, are Benton, Washington, Faulkner, Saline and Boone counties, according to the 2013 County Health Rankings.
The five counties in the poorest health are Ouachita, Phillips, Mississippi, Poinsett and Lafayette counties.
Unhealthy counties have more than twice the rate of premature deaths than healthy ones and childhood poverty rates are twice as high in unhealthy counties.
High school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, availability of dental care and family and social support contribute to the health rankings, according to the state health department.
The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states.
The fourth annual County Health Rankings were conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.