Cook is healthiest NE county

Northeastern Minnesota’s most-rural county is also the region’s healthiest.

The Duluth News Tribune reports Cook County ranks among the top 30 in the state in the two major areas evaluated in the fourth annual County Health Rankings, released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Out of 87 counties, Cook County ranked 29th in “health outcomes” — up from 42nd last year. The health outcomes category considers premature deaths, low birth weight and similar data.

Cook County ranked 23rd in “health factors,” which includes a wide array of measures ranging from adult obesity to sexually transmitted infections to the violent crime rate.

St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties have ranked relatively low in all four years of the County Health rankings.

Although Cook County falls well below some of the counties in the suburban Twin Cities and most of those in southeastern Minnesota, it stands out in the region. St. Louis County ranked 72nd in health outcomes and 59th in health factors; Lake County ranked 83rd in health outcomes but 28th in health factors; and Carlton County ranked 81st in health outcomes and 36th in health factors.