Nantucket, Dukes Counties Ranked Healthiest in Massachusetts; Barnstable 7th

A geographic look at the healthiest and unhealthiest counties in Massachusetts, according to a new study.

HYANNIS – Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are the healthiest places to live in Massachusetts, according to a recent study examining county by county health in the state.

The study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute finds Nantucket is the healthiest county in the state, with Dukes County checking in at number 2.

Barnstable County finds itself ranked right in the middle at number 7.

Residents on Cape Cod do not live as long as people in other Massachusetts counties, with Barnstable County ranked 11th out of 14 in length of life.

In terms of quality of life, Barnstable County was ranked 5th out of all Massachusetts counties. Cape Codders have an above average access to health care when compared to the rest of Massachusetts, checking in as the 4th ranked county when it comes to clinical care.

Barnstable County did however see a higher number of violent crimes (428) than the statewide average among all 14 counties (403).

The Cape has a higher rate of excessive alcohol use (21 percent) compared with Massachusetts as a whole (19 percent). Barnstable County reported a below average rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths at 23 percent, with the statewide average checking in at 28 percent.

Cape Codders are more active than their counterparts in the Bay State, with only 16 percent of residents in Barnstable County dealing with physical inactivity. The statewide physical inactivity rate stands at 20 percent.

The study also found that Cape Codders enjoy a significantly shorter commute to work on average, with only 27 percent of Barnstable County residents reporting a long drive to work, compared to 41 percent statewide.

While the Cape has struggled with affordable housing, the study finds Barnstable County only has a slightly above average rate of severe housing problems, 20 percent locally to 19 percent statewide.

The county-by-county rankings can be found below:

  1. Nantucket
  2. Dukes
  3. Middlesex
  4. Norfolk
  5. Hampshire
  6. Essex
  7. Barnstable
  8. Plymouth
  9. Worcester
  10. Franklin
  11. Suffolk
  12. Berkshire
  13. Bristol
  14. Hampden
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