Apr 27, 2022 - News

Benton named healthiest county in Arkansas

Illustration of a red cross turning into a number 1.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Benton County residents have both the best health factors and the best health outcomes in Arkansas, according to a report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • Health factors include things like access to health care and exercise, behaviors such as smoking and socioeconomic factors like poverty and violent crime. Health outcomes include results like premature death.

Between the lines: The data from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report suggests better health correlates with higher incomes and more access to resources, such as health care and exercise opportunities.

  • Washington County ranks second in health outcomes and third in health factors. Saline County in central Arkansas took the No. 2 slot for health factors.

By the numbers: 13% of children in Benton County and 15% in Washington County live in poverty, compared to the state average of 21%, according to the report.

  • Benton's violent crime rate is nearly half the state average. Washington County's rate is also lower than the state average.
  • 74% of Benton residents and 83% of Washington residents have adequate access to exercise, compared to 56% of the state.
  • Benton and Washington counties also have a lower teen birth rate compared to the state overall.

Yes, but: Benton County has fewer primary care doctors, dentists and mental health care providers per resident than the state average, while Washington County has more than the state average.

The big picture: Generally, the healthier counties are in the central and northwest parts of the state.

  • The least healthy are along the eastern border, with Phillips County ranking the lowest in both factors and outcomes. There, 37% of children live in poverty and 54% of the population has access to exercise opportunities.

Go deeper: Explore the data


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