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Chicago-Area Counties' Health Among Best and Worst in Illinois

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Chicago-Area Counties' Health Among Best and Worst in Illinois

Illinois’s counties broken out by health outcomes. (“County Health Rankings,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin)

People in Chicago’s collar counties are among the healthiest in Illinois. But there’s a wide gap between those areas and Cook County.

Drive east over County Line Road, and you’ll be passing from the state’s second-healthiest county to its 81st healthiest. Cook County ranks near the bottom, compared to neighboring DuPage. That’s according to a national report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.

Bernard Turnock is a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He says there are big, systemic issues behind the health gap.

TURNOCK: We focus a lot these days on health behaviors, because those are things that individuals can change on their own behalf. But the larger socioeconomic factors aren’t readily amenable to policy interventions.

Cook County actually ranks third best in health behaviors, but it’s near the bottom in socioeconomic and environmental factors. Kendall County came out as the state’s healthiest, with DuPage, McHenry and Lake all in the top ten.


Read the full report on Illinois here.

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