Living in Morgan makes us all a little happier. We love the fresh air, the beautiful mountains, and our friendly neighborhoods. Results of a recent study give us one more reason to be happy we call this valley home. A study completed by the University of Wisconsin, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation named Morgan the healthiest county in Utah. Even better, this is the third year they have published results of county comparisons and we have maintained the top spot every year.
This coveted title means we are living healthier, longer lives than others around the Beehive State. Low rates of premature death defined as before age 75 were reported for our community. Poor or fair health was reported by only 4 percent while statewide saw a higher 13 percent. Poor mental health and poor physical health rates were much lower.
Our neighbor Summit County was designated as the fourth healthiest county in the state but first in health factors. Morgan placed second in this category.
Factors such as alcohol and tobacco use, diet and exercise, and sexual activity make up 30 percent of the score. The study reports that only 9 percent of Morgan adults smoke and 9 percent consume excessive alcohol. Obesity in our area is 23 percent. Morgan reported low teen births and STDs. We also scored well for our low record of motor vehicle crash deaths.
Factors including access to care and quality of care account for 20 percent of the score. Morgan has 13 percent uninsured populace. There is a ratio of 972:1 for primary care physicians to residents. This is a lower patient to doctor ratio than that of the state but not near as good as the national benchmark at 631:1. We rank well for diabetes and mammography screenings.
Social and economic factors account for another 40 percent of the score. Morgan has a high school graduation rate of 98 percent and 68 percent completing some college. Our unemployment was 7.4 percent for the reported time. Single parent households account for 6 percent compared to 17 percent statewide. Children in poverty measured 7 percent for our community compared to 16 percent statewide. Violent crime was also significantly lower. We had 23 incidents compared to 226 for the state, 76 for the nationwide benchmark.
The final 10 percent of the score come from physical environmental factors. We had a perfect score for air pollution which doesn’t surprise any of us that enjoy the clean mountain air. We have access to recreational facilities. Fast food restaurants were also taken into account. While we don’t have many in our county they do make up a significant portion of our restaurant choices.
The top five healthiest counties in Utah in order are Morgan, Cache, Utah, Summit and Davis. Salt Lake placed 12th and Weber placed 14th in the rankings.
To view the study visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.
Watch for articles about what Morgan companies, families and individuals are doing to stay healthy.