Calloway County has been listed as the third healthiest county
The Top 10 list includes Boone, Oldham, Calloway, Woodford, Scott,
Lyon, Washington, Owen, Franklin and Fayette, according to a
newly-released report by the University of Wisconsin Population
Health Institute and released by the Associated Press Tuesday. The
least healthiest counties were listed as Owsley, Martin, Wolfe,
Fulton, Magoffin, Perry, Pike, Harlan, Letcher and Knott. The
report measured overall health in all 3,000 U.S. counties.
Kentucky’s healthiest counties are located in the central and
western part of the state; the least healthy counties are primarily
in eastern Kentucky.
County Judge-Executive Larry Elkins said he was pleased to hear the
news and cited efforts by local professional medical services as
well as organizations promoting healthy lifestyles in
Murray-Calloway County for their efforts.
“Obviously, it’s good to hear that we are listed at the top of the
ranking in Kentucky,” Elkins said this morning. “Other than our
hospital and our medical center we also have a lot of community
organizations that do a lot.”
Elkins sits on both Murray -Calloway County Hospital’s Board of
Trustees and the Calloway County Board of Health.
Measures used to assess the health of county residents included the
death rate of those below 75 years old, the percent of people who
report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people
report being in poor physical and poor mental health and the rate
of low-birthweight infants.
According to the AP report, the study brought out startling
differences in the health of residents living just a few miles
A typical example is in Illinois, where the healthiest of its 102
counties, Kendall, is right next door to the one ranked 65th,
LaSalle. Twice as many LaSalle County residents are in poor or fair
health and smoking rates are double the national average.
Suburban versus rural and proximity to big cities and high-paying
jobs partly explain the disparities. Kendall County is on the edge
of Chicago’s metropolitan area, while LaSalle County is more
“Affluent suburbs tend to have higher paying jobs, often in the
cities, whereas rural communities often are dealing with loss of
businesses” and declining populations of young people, who tend to
be healthier, said Dr. Patrick Remington, a researcher for the
The rankings can be found online at