One of the positives that have come out of this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is that we're all taking a more active role in our health and well-being.

For residents in one South Dakota county, those efforts are paying off with a stellar ranking in a newly published list of the healthiest places in America.

U.S News and World Report, in conjunction with the Aetna Foundation, have crunched numbers from the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 84 key indicators over ten categories to rank the top 500 healthiest counties in the nation.

Tops in South Dakota is Lincoln County, which checks in at number-38 overall, landing in the top eight percent of counties across the United States.

The home to more than 60,000 people had its highest marks in the Economy category which factors in employment, opportunity, and wealth).

The highest in-state marks in the other nine categories were spread out among seven different South Dakota counties:

  • Brookings – Infrastructure (Makes use of community resources), Education (Strength of community system)
  • Davison – Environment (Air/water quality, access to parks)
  • Lake – Public Safety (Crime rates, deaths from accidents), Community Vitality (Population growth, voter participation)
  • Lawrence – Food and Nutrition (Availability and use of healthy foods)
  • Meade – Equity (Income, education, health, social)
  • Union – Housing (Availability, affordability, quality)
  • Yankton – Population Health (Healthy behaviors, access to care)

Overall, Colorado had an impressive six counties among the nation's ten healthiest places:

  1. Los Alamos, New Mexico
  2. Douglas, Colorado
  3. Falls Church, Virginia
  4. Broomfield, Colorado
  5. Routt, Colorado
  6. Loudoun, Virginia
  7. Pitkin, Colorado
  8. Carver, Minnesota
  9. Summit, Colorado
  10. San Miguel, Colorado

Nearby Sioux County, in Iowa, ranked 12th best in America.

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