CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The connections between both social and economic factors and overall health are writ large in the latest report looking at wellness in West Virginia.

On Wednesday, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released the 9th Annual County Health Rankings, designed to be a “health snapshot” for states.

“Overall, the counties that are the healthiest have high high school graduation rates, low childhood poverty rates,” said Ashley Starck, a program associate with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in a Wednesday interview with MetroNews.

“The counties that are the least healthiest have the opposite.”

In terms of health outcomes, the top counties for 2018 in West Virginia are as follows:

1) Jefferson
2) Monongalia
3) Putnam
4) Ohio
5) Pendleton

The five counties at the bottom of the list for health outcomes are:

51) Boone
52) Logan
53) Wyoming
54) Mingo
55) McDowell

For health factors, the top counties are as follows:

1) Putnam
2) Monongalia
3) Jefferson
4) Ohio
5) Morgan

The five counties at the bottom of the list for health factors are:

51) Boone
52) Logan
53) Wyoming
54) Mingo
55) McDowell

“Health outcomes cover, basically, the length of life and the quality of life,” Starck said of the differences between the two lists. “Health factors are more broad things that impact health and so we’re looking at health behaviors.”

The West Virginia State Report showed 24 percent of the Mountain State’s kids live in poverty compared with the national rate of 20 percent.

The 2018 findings for West Virginia are similar to those reported in 2017.

“Overall, the opportunities to be healthy shouldn’t be based on where we live, how much money we make or even the color of our skin,” said Starck. “However, our findings are showing that they are.”

The full rankings are available HERE.

“We can’t be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind,” said Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in a statement.

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