Study: Carver County is healthiest county in Minnesota, Mahnomen least healthy

Carver County is the healthiest county in Minnesota, while Mahnomen County is the least healthy, according to a new study

The study, released Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, determined the five healthies counties in the state were Carver County, Washington County, Nicollet County, Scott County, and Wright County. The five least healthy counties in the state were Mahnomen County, Cass County, Wadena County, Norman County, and Beltrami County.

The study showed a high correlation between the percentage of income spent on housing and health.

Lower income families are often spending over 50 percent of their income on housing. That means less money is available for healthy food, medicine or transportation to school or work.

The study showed about 11 percent of Minnesota households spend over half their income on housing. The numbers are even higher for black households, with over 25 percent spending half their income on housing.

“Our homes are inextricably tied to our health,” said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “It’s unacceptable that so many individuals and families face barriers to health because of what they have to spend on housing. This leaves them with fewer dollars to keep their families healthy. Imagine the stress and pain that come with unplanned moves. We are all healthier and stronger together when everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of the color of their skin or how much money they make.”