How Healthy are Linn and Johnson Counties?
A new study ranks all 99 Iowa counties in a variety of health factors and Johnson County scores much higher than Linn.
Cedar Rapids' home county ranks 36th overall in health factors according to data from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Obviously, a long way from the bottom, but a lot of room for improvement. Meanwhile, Johnson County ranks 2nd in the state!
The HUGE area of concern is for the physical environment in the two counties. Linn County comes in 88th in the state and Johnson is 81st. Both counties have a high percentage of us driving alone to work and both also have more than 15 percent of residents commuting 30-minutes or more. We're holding steady in the air pollution category, but 88 and 81 out of 99 are definitely not good.
Linn County ranks near the middle (42nd) of the state when it comes to quality of life while Johnson County is 63rd. The only concerning stat is that both have more than 10 percent of adult residents that are considered to be in poor or fair health.
In health factors, the Linn County scores better overall (36th), but there're several red flags. Linn County's obesity level is going up and stands at 30 percent. Adult smoking in the county is still at 16 percent and while improving, more than 20 percent of us are physically inactive. Johnson County meanwhile is 2nd in the state in this category, and obviously is well ahead of Linn in all of the above categories.
Social and economic factors put Linn County 42nd, with a high graduation rate, and more than three in four adults having attended at least some college. We're also heading in the wrong direction on child poverty while improving in the amount of violent crime. Johnson County scores very high here as well, at 14th.
The final factor is Clinical Care. Not surprisingly, Johnson County scores best in the state, while Linn County is 17th.
The takeaways? Many things we can't control but a couple of them we can are these: We need to carpool and we need to get off our butts. As with anything, easier said than done.
Here're the top five counties in Iowa, according to all the health factors combined: