The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute County Health Rankings has released their annual ranking of health for nearly every county in the nation.
The ranking takes a closer look at the way health relates to opportunities people have to participate in their communities. The ranking considers civic infrastructure (schools, parks, libraries, etc.) and civic participation (ways people engage in community life).
For rural communities, the research found a strong sense of community, but policies and practices disconnect people from each other. The report also found that in areas with long-standing disinvestment, such as rural economies, there are fewer social and economic opportunities, leading to lower healthy measures of life and quality of life.