Healthiest Counties

Healthiest Counties

In their annual health rankings, researchers look at the factors that influence an area’s overall health, rating the healthiest counties in Illinois and the U.S.

Not all counties in the U.S. are equal. In fact, some have significantly healthier residents than others. So what sets them apart?

Each year since 2011, health researchers with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute have set out to study that question. For 2023’s rankings, they weighed residents’ length of life and quality of life at the county level, using data from 2014 to 2022. Measures included mental health days, alcohol-impaired driving, teen births, air pollution, children in poverty, commute times, and more.

Researchers also focused this year on the connection between thriving counties and civic involvement. That’s because health goes beyond hospitals. Researchers considered public spaces such as schools, libraries, and parks — places that keep people connected and informed — as well as how people engaged in their communities through activities such as voting and volunteering.

A brick field house overlooks a park path near sunset, in Chicago's Portage Park neighborhood.

History shows that people involved in their communities inspire change that improves everyone’s health,. Consider the early 1920s, when infant mortality rates — a marker of a population’s overall health — dropped drastically. What happened? Lawmakers began passing laws that created maternal and child health departments in every state. Why would they suddenly do that? Because women had won the right to vote in 1920, and they voted based on their health interests.

Explore detailed rankings for individual states in the 2023 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps here. Within Illinois, for example, Cook County ranked as no. 47 for health outcomes of 102 counties in the state. DuPage, Kendall, McHenry, Piatt, and Monroe were within the top five. We’ve listed the healthiest county in each state below.


  • Alabama — Shelby County
  • Alaska — Kodiak Island
  • Arizona — Maricopa County
  • Arkansas — Benton County
  • California — Marin County
  • Colorado — Douglas County
  • Connecticut — Fairfield County
  • Delaware — Sussex County
  • Florida — Collier County
  • Georgia — Forsyth County
  • Hawaii — Maui County
  • Idaho — Valley County
  • Illinois — DuPage County
  • Indiana — Hamilton County
  • Iowa — Sioux County
  • Kansas — Johnson County
  • Kentucky — Oldham County
  • Louisiana — Ascension County
  • Maine — Cumberland County
  • Maryland — Montgomery County
  • Massachusetts — Nantucket County
  • Michigan — Leelanau County
  • Minnesota — Carver County
  • Mississippi — Madison County
  • Missouri — Platte County
  • Montana — Carbon County
  • Nebraska — Wayne County
  • Nevada — Douglas County
  • New Hampshire — Rockingham County
  • New Jersey — Hunterdon County
  • New Mexico — Los Alamos County
  • New York — Putnam County
  • North Carolina — Wake County
  • North Dakota — Traill County
  • Ohio — Delaware County
  • Oklahoma — Canadian County
  • Oregon — Washington County
  • Pennsylvania — Chester County
  • Rhode Island — Bristol County
  • South Carolina — Beaufort County
  • South Dakota — Lake County
  • Tennessee — Williamson County
  • Texas — Collin County
  • Utah — Wasatch County
  • Vermont — Chittenden County
  • Virginia — Falls Church City
  • Washington — San Juan County
  • West Virginia — Monongalia County
  • Wisconsin — Ozaukee County
  • Wyoming — Teton County
Source: County Health Rankings & Road Maps