Douglas, Pitkin counties ranked as healthiest in Colorado

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Douglas and Pitkin counties are the healthiest in Colorado for the fifth year in a row, while people living in Otero and Bent counties have the shortest and sickest lives.

The annual health rankings compiled by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute attempt to grade counties across the country on two areas: health outcomes and the factors that influence health.

The ranking of counties’ health outcomes combines years of potential life lost from residents dying before age 75; the percentage of people reporting poor health; and the percentage of babies born too small. It correlates strongly with how prosperous a community is.

Douglas County has been in first place on that list and Pitkin County has been in second place since 2019.

The health factors ranking includes measures of education and wealth; exposure to pollution; availability of health care; and behaviors like smoking and excessive drinking. While there are exceptions, communities that do well in one area tend to also rank highly among others.

Douglas County was also in first place in the ranking of health factors, followed by Pitkin County. Douglas has topped the rankings since 2012, with Pitkin bouncing up and down in the top five since 2015.

While there’s more variation at the bottom of the list, southern Colorado has consistently scored poorly on both health outcomes and factors.

Metro Denver rankings

The Denver area had mixed results and generally followed the pattern of better health in wealthier places:

  • Adams: 27th in health outcomes, 41st in health factors
  • Arapahoe: 14th in health outcomes, 22 in health factors
  • Broomfield: sixth in health outcomes, third in health factors
  • denver: 30th in health outcomes, 27th in health factors
  • Douglas: 1st in health outcomes, 1st in health factors
  • Jefferson: 11th in outcomes, 10th in health factors

Health outcomes rankings

Five counties weren’t ranked because of insufficient data.

The top and bottom counties for health outcomes were:

1. Douglas

2. Pitkin

3. Eagles

4. Boulders

5. Routt

55. Las Animations

56. Conejos

57. Saguaches

58. Bent

59. Otero

Health factor rankings

The top and bottom counties by health factors were: