MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - St. Croix County has replaced Ozaukee County as the healthiest in Wisconsin.
That’s according to the annual rankings put out by UW-Madison and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Ozaukee County, just north of Milwaukee, was the healthiest for the last two years – but this time, it dropped to second behind St. Croix, on the eastern edge of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area.
Taylor, Iowa, and Vernon counties round out the Top 5.
Menominee County – home of the Menominee Indian Reservation – is again the least healthy. Marquette County is 2nd-worst, followed by Milwaukee.
Karen Timberlake of the UW Population Health Institute said health care is readily available in Milwaukee – but high levels of poverty and unemployment can take a toll on its residents.
In other cases, a lack of health care access causes a low ranking. Other factors in the survey include high school graduation rates, access to healthy foods, teen births, deaths before age 75, and smoking and obesity rates.
Timberlake says the annual findings are meant to help local officials get examples of what others are doing to promote health and active lives.