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When it comes to access to health care, a new report says the highest-ranked county in the country is right here in our own backyard in Minnesota.

U.S. News and World Report and CVS Health have been ranking communities across the country for the past five years now based on various aspects of their overall health. And while Minnesota, as a state, ranked relatively high overall, several counties here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes placed very highly in this year's survey.

The fifth annual Healthiest Communities rankings looked at 89 different factors to rank the health of over 3,000 counties across the country. These included health care access and outcomes; mental health; environment; community vitality, and other health-related topics.

Overall, no state other than Minnesota had more counties on the survey's Top 500 Healthiest list, with 60 Minnesota counties making the listCarver County, in the southwest metro, was ranked number five in the nation in Overall Health. Meanwhile, Lake County, near Duluth, ranked fifth in Food and Nutrition. 

And when it comes to Access to Healthcare, this Minnesota county was ranked first in the nation in this year's survey. Just which county is it? It should be fairly familiar if you live here in southeast Minnesota: Olmsted County. That's right, U.S. News and World Report and CVS Health say no other county in the entire country has better access to healthcare than we do here. (Gee, I wonder why that might be?😉)

The survey noted that Olmsted County had an overall population health score of 81 and ranked 34th on the Top 500 Healthiest Counties list this year, up from #77 in 2021. It noted the average life expectancy here in 82.7, quite a bit higher than the national average of just 77.5 years. And only 5.4% of Olmsted County residents don't have health insurance, compared to the national average of 11%.

You can read MORE about what contributed to our high health care rankings in the 2022 U.S. News and World Report / CV Health Healthiest Communities survey HERE.

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