Shelby County named state’s healthiest county

Published 8:34 am Thursday, March 21, 2013

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Shelby County residents were recently named the state’s healthiest by a national study.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute made the findings of the study public March 20.

The study measured certain categories, such as mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment, when determining health of county residents.

According to the rankings, Shelby County was ranked No. 1 out of 67 counties in every category except for physical environment. The county still ranked highly in the physical environment category, coming in at No. 8.

Shelby County has ranked as the state’s healthiest county every year since 2010, when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation began handing out its yearly rankings.

Shelby County’s surrounding counties were all over the map when it came to the rankings. St. Clair County ranked as the best out of the surrounding counties at No. 11, followed by Jefferson County at No. 27, Chilton County at No. 34, Coosa County at No. 44, Bibb County at No. 53 and Talladega County at No. 59.

Lowndes County is considered the county with the worst health in the state, according to the study.

Study officials hope their rankings can be used to “create a culture of health” in counties throughout the United States.

“The County Health Rankings can be put to use right away by leaders in government, business, health care and every citizen motivated to work together to create a culture of health in their community,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in a press release.

To see the rankings and get more information on the study, visit