Weather Forecast


Study: St. Croix, Washington counties score high on health ranks

Area counties rank in the top five of their respective states based on a variety of health metrics.

St. Croix County ranked fifth in Wisconsin while Washington County ranked fourth in Minnesota, according to the America’s Healthiest Places study by financial technology company SmartAsset.

The purpose of the rankings is to get residents thinking about their health and, ultimately, its impact on life insurance costs, said AJ Smith, SmartAsset vice president of content and financial education.

The study ranked counties in each state on three health factors: length of life, health behaviors and access to health care. Data were gleaned from a variety of public health sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Area Health Resources Files.

The study analyzed adult smoking, obesity, binge drinking, uninsured rate and premature death rate, among other topics.

Dakota County ranked sixth and Goodhue County ranked 24th out of Minnesota’s 87 counties, according to the study. Pierce County just missed the top 10 at the 11th spot out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Olmsted County — home of Mayo Clinic — topped the list of Minnesota counties; Ozaukee County near Milwaukee ranked first in Wisconsin.

An interactive map of the study is available at

Study highlights:

St. Croix County, Wis.

  • State rank: 5
  • Adult smokers: 14.4 percent
  • Adult obesity: 26.2 percent
  • Excessive drinking: 27.3 percent

Pierce County, Wis.

  • State rank: 11
  • Adult smokers: 16 percent
  • Adult obesity: 30.3 percent
  • Excessive drinking: 26.1 percent

Washington County, Minn.

  • State rank: 4
  • Adult smokers: 12.7 percent
  • Adult obesity: 26.1 percent
  • Excessive drinking: 21.8 percent

Dakota County, Minn.

  • State rank: 6
  • Adult smokers: 12.2 percent
  • Adult obesity: 26.6 percent
  • Excessive drinking: 20.6 percent

Goodhue County, Minn.

  • State rank: 24
  • Adult smokers: 14.8 percent
  • Adult obesity: 32.2 percent
  • Excessive drinking: 20.9 percent
Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

(651) 301-7875