Leelanau Top Health Ranking

By Amanda Harrison

Leelanau is the healthiest and least smelly county in Michigan according to an annual county by county health assessment.

Leelanau has an average obesity rate and an average number of insured residents but one factor sets the county apart.

Leelanau has the lowest smoking rate in the state.

Bill Crawford is the health officer with the Benzie-Leelanau Health Department.

He said there are a few reasons Leelanau has the lowest smoking rate...

"At the health department we really emphasize to our maternal and infant support clients that it is very wise to not smoke during pregnancy and it's really very wise not to smoke at all. The other reality is that higher income, higher education individuals are less likely to smoke, I mean that's just a statistical fact."    

Crawford said the county also has above average rates of high school and college graduates and lower than average unemployment.

Grand Traverse also has a lower than average unemployment rate and ranks number 10 in the assessment.

The health rankings were published earlier this month by the University of Wisconsin, ongoing research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

That foundation is a financial supporter of N-P-R.

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