South Florida, Keys rank among healthiest counties in state

Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Monroe all ranked in top 10 for first time

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
Associated Press

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - All three South Florida counties are ranked among the 10 healthiest in the state, according to a new annual report.

Miami-Dade County ranks fifth, Palm Beach County ranks eighth and Broward County rounds out the top 10 in the annual County Health Rankings from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Although at least one of the South Florida counties has ranked among the top 10 since the rankings began in 2011, this is the first year that all three counties made an appearance in the top 10.

Miami-Dade County made the biggest leap, moving from 23rd overall last year to fifth in 2018. Miami-Dade's No. 5 ranking ties for the previous high set in 2014 and 2015.

Palm Beach County has ranked in the top 10 each year since 2015. It continues to rise in the rankings, going from No. 10 in 2015 to No. 9 in 2016 and No. 8 last year.

Broward County ranked No. 19 a year ago before moving into 10th place this year.

Monroe County also ranks among the top 10 for the fourth consecutive year. The Florida Keys were ninth in 2015, seventh in 2016, 10th in 2017 and seventh in this year's rankings.

The rankings are based on 34 health categories, including clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.

St. Johns County, just south of Jacksonville, ranked No. 1 in the state. Collier County on Florida's southwest coast ranks second, followed by Martin County at No. 4 and Seminole County at No. 5. Sarasota County is sixth and Lafayette County is ninth.

On the other end of the spectrum are the most rural of Florida's 67 counties.

Union County was dead last in the state rankings. Putnam, Madison, Gadsden, Dixie, Bradford, Hamilton, Columbia, Levy and Okeechobee counties round out the bottom 10.

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