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Healthiest Counties in NE

(KFOR NEWS  January 16, 2020)   To help find the healthiest places in Nebraska, SmartAsset analyzed three metrics, including length of life, health behaviors and healthcare access.  Take a look at how the top counties in Nebraska ranked:

Adult Smokers Adult Obesity Excessive Drinking PCP Rate2 Uninsured Rate Healthiest Places
1 Holt, NE 4,645 13.4% 32.1% 17.5% 117 10.0% 82.11
2 Wayne, NE 3,146 13.5% 33.3% 22.0% 43 8.8% 81.76
3 Washington, NE 4,726 13.0% 32.6% 21.9% 53 5.6% 79.46
4 Seward, NE 5,611 14.1% 30.0% 20.4% 64 6.5% 78.31
5 Sarpy, NE 4,609 14.8% 32.5% 22.4% 54 6.3% 78.03
6 Buffalo, NE 5,330 15.3% 28.6% 23.3% 89 8.3% 77.53
7 Lancaster, NE 5,199 14.3% 27.6% 25.0% 68 9.1% 77.35
8 Platte, NE 4,740 14.3% 33.3% 21.2% 70 10.0% 76.94
9 Hamilton, NE 6,205 13.7% 32.0% 19.1% 87 7.2% 76.61
10 Keith, NE 6,117 15.9% 28.8% 19.4% 87 10.0% 75.90
NE 6,438 16.1% 33.7% 20.2% 59 10.1%
1 Years of Potential Life Lost before the age of 75 per 100,000 residents
2 Primary Care Physicians per 100,000 residentsMethodology   Our study aims to find the healthiest places in the country. An individual’s health is key to assessing life expectancy, which is the ultimate determinant of the price one pays for life insurance. To find America’s healthiest places we considered three factors: length of life, health behaviors and healthcare access.

The first factor we considered was the premature death rate in a county, specifically the years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 residents. This number shows the rate at which people die before the age of 75. Places with the lowest rates of premature death generated the highest length of life index values.

Second, we created a health behaviors index for each county. This reflects the counties with the healthiest behaviors, as measured by three data points: the percentage of adults that are current smokers, the percentage of adults that are obese and the percentage of adults that report binge or heavy drinking. We indexed each of these data points on a scale of 0 to 100, took a weighted average, then indexed the final number to generate the health behaviors index.

Third, we considered access to healthcare as a secondary measure of how healthy each county is, given the impact this has on health outcomes. We looked at the rate of primary care physicians per 100,000 residents. We also looked at the uninsured rate, or the percentage of the population under age 65 without health insurance. We indexed each of these data points on a scale of 0 to 100, took a weighted average, then indexed the final number to generate the healthcare access index.

Finally, we used a weighted average of the three indices above to yield an overall healthiest places score. We used a 50% weighting for length of life, a 30% weighting for health behaviors and a 20% weighting for healthcare access. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect the healthiest places.

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