DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — U.S. News & World Report released its list of healthiest communities in the country, and a Colorado county topped the list.
Out of an assessment of almost 3,000 counties and county equivalents, Douglas County was named the most health community nationwide. The study's researchers looked at 81 metrics in 10 categories that shape a community’s well-being, including indicators ranging from cancer prevalence and obesity to crime rates and housing quality.
Douglas County, which has an estimated population of 350,000, was ranked second last year.
"Health and wellness, I think, is a big part of our community," said Jill Garber, who works in Colorado State University's Office of Engagement.
She has lived in Castle Rock in the county for almost 20 years. She said she enjoys the county’s "art walks," recreation complex and trails.
"I think those are the things that have kept me here and why I've remained a long-term resident — (it's) that access to parks and trails and those events in the community," she said.
The county scored well in the study’s population health, economy, environment, community vitality and infrastructure categories.
Douglas County wasn’t the only Colorado community to rank toward the top of the list. Six other areas made it onto that list, with 28 ranked in the top 500.
These are the top 25 communities:
1. Douglas County, Colorado
2. Los Alamos County, New Mexico
3. Falls Church, Virginia (city)
4. Loudoun County, Virginia
5. Broomfield County, Colorado
6. Teton County, Wyoming
7. Hamilton County, Indiana
8. Carver County, Minnesota
9. Delaware County, Ohio
10. Howard County, Maryland
To see the full list and scores in each category, visit the U.S. News & World Report’s website here.