Progress is a good thing, but a two-rank change is not a significant one, said Kitty Jerome, researcher for the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. A county's outcomes are measured by the length and the quality of one's life; the quality component takes into account answers to surveys asking how many poor physical and mental health days a person has experienced recently, as well as the frequency of low birth weight. You can search for your county by clicking on the link at the side of this story, then typing in your zip code.
"You have this paradox of having the top and bottom counties next to each other in a part of the same metropolitan area".
There was some correlation between population and health outcomes, in which counties with more residents tended to rank higher in terms of health outcomes.
Cambria County ranked 64th overall among Pennsylvania's 67 counties, trailed only by Fulton, Fayette and Philadelphia counties.
Trujillo, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, cautions that Wyandotte County's relative ranking may have remained static because, while it has improved in some areas, other counties have improved at the same time.
Last year, Petersburg was ranked second worst in the state.
Everything from a long commute and local food options to the number of physicians on call and people in poverty affects a community's overall health. Only 9 percent of St. Johns County children live in poverty, according to the data.
"Years went by before the high infant mortality rate in Forsyth County saw dramatic improvement", Plyler said.
"We will continue to work with our community partners to achieve a caring and inclusive community where everyone can achieve their optimum well-being", Browning said.
The county's ranking for health factors - 30 measures relating to health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic and physical environment values - has been up and down.
But despite higher spending, the USA has the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rate than any other wealthy nations.
"Eleven percent of kids in Cumberland County live in poverty, but we still see huge disparities", says Oakman. "I'm proud that we're the first city in Texas to pass Tobacco 21", said Junda Woo, medical director of Metro Health Medical.