Georgetown is the county seat of the healthiest county in the state, according to a national ranking released yesterday. Williamson County is the #1 healthiest county in Texas in the 2013 County Health Rankings, an annual report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Williamson County was ranked the #2 healthiest county in Texas in the 2012 report.
The annual ranking is a quality of life report card that grades counties on a wide variety of factors such as community safety, employment rates, graduation rates, healthcare access, health care quality, longevity, and health behaviors.
One of the factors considered in the County Health Rankings was recreational programs and facilities. “The evidence for the effectiveness of improving access to recreational facilities is so strong that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend it as one of the 24 environmental- and policy-level strategies to reduce obesity,” according to the report.
The positive effects of strong public safety and low crime rates in Williamson County were also key factors in the ranking, with community safety contributing to outcomes such as birth weight, diet and exercise, and family and social support.
Many organizations and businesses in the county play a role in contributing to the quality of life ranking, including schools and universities, parks and recreation programs, hospitals, health clinics, nonprofit organizations, workplace wellness programs, law enforcement, and economic development efforts.
The rankings are available online at www.countyhealthrankings.org.