Beaufort County, once again, tops the list of healthiest counties in South Carolina.
Elsewhere this year, Dorchester, York, Greenville and Charleston counties round out the Top 5.
Berkeley County earned the 7th healthiest spot on the list.
The annual list is compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
The rankings, which were published Wednesday, do not compare counties in South Carolina to counties in other states. For example, Marion County was named least healthy in South Carolina, but the list does not show how Marion stacks up against the least healthy counties in Georgia or North Carolina.
Dillon, Marlboro, Lee and Allendale counties were also named among the least healthy in this state. All of them are rural. Urban counties in South Carolina typically earned higher spots on the list that rural ones.
“The (county health) rankings have become an important tool for communities that want to improve health for all," Graham Adams, CEO of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, said in a statement.
Public health experts used several metrics to calculate this year's list including premature death rates, the number of babies born with low birthweight, a community's access to healthy food, and drug overdose deaths, among other factors.
“The County Health Rankings show us that where people live plays a key role in how long and how well they live,” Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a press release. “The Rankings allow local leaders to clearly see and prioritize the challenges they face — whether it’s rising premature death rates or the growing drug overdose epidemic — so they can bring community leaders and residents together to find solutions.”
For more information, go to countyhealthrankings.org.