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Healthiest counties

Polk ranked in top 3 of North Carolina’s healthiest counties

POLK COUNTY—Polk County was recently ranked as one of the top 3 healthiest North Carolina counties as well as among the top 500 healthiest counties in the country. 

The U.S. News & World Report released the ranking on Tuesday in collaboration with CVS Health and the Aetna Foundation of the healthiest counties in the country.

Wake, Orange and Polk counties were among those in the top 500 in the country, earning the number 215, 298 and 438 spots respectively in the country. 

The ranking was done to explore how communities across the country are working to improve the health of their residents. The ranking was also done to help keep residents, health care leaders and elected officials informed of local policies and practices that drive better health outcomes. 

The rankings included the U.S. News & World Report looking at nearly 3,000 counties across the country and how they performed in different categories, including housing, food and nutrition, environment and education. 

Polk County often ranks 2nd in the state for education. 

The information for the rankings came from data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

A lot of the data used came from periods prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Still, the analysis found that as of June 4, more than half of the top 500 cities had fewer COVID-19 cases than the national rate. 

The top 10 healthiest counties in the country were Los Alamos County, New Mexico; Douglas County, Colorado; Falls Church, Virginia; Loudoun County, Virginia; Broomfield County, Colorado; San Miguel County, Colorado; Pitkin, Colorado; Howard County, Maryland and Morgan County, Utah, according to the report.