Los Alamos County is the healthiest county in the state. McKinley County is the least healthy.
That’s according to a study released Wednesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, which releases county health rankings annually.
UWPHI’s annual County Health Rankings, which are supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examine health outcomes and health factors. The numbers used in calculating the rankings are sourced from federal data and surveys.
“Our findings reveal that people and places thrive when all residents have the chance to participate in their communities,” Sheri Johnson, principal investigator of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and director of UWPHI, said in a statement. “History shows that we can remake systems and structures through civic participation that are beneficial to all.”
The study shows that Los Alamos County is the healthiest county when it comes to health outcomes and health factors, which include several measures: length of life, quality of life, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. Los Alamos County has ranked first in both categories going back to 2011.
McKinley County, for the most part, has ranked toward the bottom in health outcomes and factors going back to 2011. And Bernalillo County, which has the largest population of all 33 counties in the state, dropped three spots in the 2023 rankings to eighth for health outcomes and stayed in fourth place for a third year in a row with health factors.
Los Alamos County, according to data pulled from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates in 2020, had just 3% of its population uninsured.
Bernalillo County, on the other hand, had roughly 10% of its population listed as uninsured. About 13% of Santa Fe County is uninsured, while 14% of Doña Ana County is uninsured. McKinley County had the highest percentage of uninsured residents at 18%.
Regarding health behaviors, New Mexico as a whole had roughly 576.3 new cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people. Curry County had the highest average per 100,000 at 954, while Bernalillo averaged 791 cases.
In Bernalillo County about 17% of households experienced severe housing problems – which includes overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities or lack of plumbing facilities – according to data compiled from 2015 through 2019 for this year’s rankings. Twenty-nine percent of households in McKinley County experienced severe housing problems – the highest in the state – and Los Alamos County had the lowest percentage at 5%.
The study can be found at countyhealthrankings.org.