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U.S. News and World Report ranks Minnesota communities as healthiest in the nation

In a new report, Minnesota has the most counties leading the nation when analyzing data related to health care access, nutrition, and community vitality.

MINNEAPOLIS — According to a new report, Minnesotans are in pretty good shape. Wednesday, U.S. News and World Report and CVS Health released their fifth annual Healthiest Communities rankings, analyzing data related to health care access and outcomes; mental health; environment; community vitality, and other health-related topics.

In total, 89 factors were analyzed to rank the health of people in around 3,000 counties across America. 

The report showed that the healthiest community was Los Alamos County in New Mexico, followed by Falls Church City in Virginia and Douglas County in Colorado.

Of the 3,243 U.S. counties, Minnesota was the most heavily represented state to have counties in the Top 500 Healthiest, with 60 counties making the listCarver County, Minnesota, was ranked number five in the nation in "overall health." 

Olmsted County, home to Mayo Clinic, ranked first in the nation in access to health care.

Lake County, outside of Duluth ranked fifth in the nation in food and nutrition.

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Research showed communities with access to better natural environments (assessed by measures reflecting walking distance to parks, tree canopy cover and natural amenities) tend to have lower rates of obesity.

To collect the data needed for this study, researchers tapped information form sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

You can read the full report here

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