How healthy are these 6 Houston-area counties?

How healthy are these 6 Houston-area counties?

Residents bike along the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail in Houston. (Courtesy Houston Parks Board)

Each year, the University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation rank counties across the U.S. based on their health levels in areas such as physical activity, health insurance coverage, socioeconomic factors and residents’ physical environments.

See 2021 data for six Houston-area counties below. Explore the complete datasets here.

Fort Bend County ranked within the top five counties statewide and the top county in the Houston region when it came to both length and quality of life. Montgomery County followed closely in both categories.

Residents of neighboring counties—including Harris, Brazoria, Galveston and Waller—generally live longer than most other state residents, but these counties ranked lower when it came to quality of life, according to the data.

All six counties in the Houston region listed ranked in the bottom half of Texas in the “physical environment factors” category, meaning residents face higher levels of air pollution, drinking water violations, housing problems and lengthy commutes.

In the Houston region, Galveston County had the least healthy behaviors; Waller County had the fewest clinical care options; and Harris County had the worst socioeconomic factors such as income inequality and educational attainment. Fort Bend County was among the top 10 statewide in each of these three categories.

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