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Maricopa County ranked the healthiest county in Arizona

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PHOENIX — Maricopa County, the county with the largest population in Arizona, is also the state’s healthiest, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The county ranked No. 1 in health outcomes across the state, beating out second- and third-place winners Yuma and Pinal counties, respectively.

Navajo and Apache counties ranked the least healthy in the state, at No. 14 and 15.

Katie Wehr with the foundation said it is not unusual for urban counties to have better health outcomes than rural counties.

“When it comes to premature death rates, for instance, we’ve seen over the past several decades that nearly one in five rural counties has experienced level premature death rates, while rates in large urban counties are continuing to improve,” she said.

Wehr said premature death rates is one area where Maricopa County has improved. Other areas where the county has seen improvement include a reduction in alcohol-impaired driving and those who are uninsured.

Wehr said areas where the county can still improve include adult smoking, adult obesity, violent crime and housing.

“What we recognize is that while Maricopa County is leading the state that there are areas for improvement,” she said. “That is the case for all counties, no matter where they rank within the state.”

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