A study released Wednesday shows Benton County as the healthiest in Arkansas with Ouachita County as the least healthy.
The County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, released each year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, aims to reflect "how long and how well people live" by compiling rates of smoking, education and access to healthy food, according to its web site.
The Arkansas county rankings, which can be searched and analyzed on the ranking website, show Benton County as the healthiest in Arkansas, topping the state health outcome rankings in premature death rate and morbidity rate. It also scored tops in the state in social and economic factors and health behaviors. The latter category includes rates of smoking, obesity, teen birth rate and motor-vehicle crashes, among other factors.
Rounding out the study's top five healthiest counties in Arkansas are Washington, Faulkner, Saline and Boone.
Pulaski County is ranked 22nd. The ranks Pulaski top in the clinical care category, which includes statistic on number of doctors and dentists, number of uninsured residents and availability of certain medical screenings.
The state's five least-healthy counties in the study are: Lafayette, Poinsett, Mississippi, Phillips and Ouachita. Ouachita County is number 10 in the state in the clinical care category but 74th in morbidity and in mortality.
The study's organizers say it shows nationally that child poverty rates have not improved since 2000, that teen birth rates are twice as high in the least-healthy counties as compared with the healthiest and smoking, teen birth and physical inactivity are higher in counties were residents don't live as long and don't report feeling as well.