HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — When it comes to community health, Virginia isn’t looking too shabby. Seven of the Commonwealth’s counties rank among the healthiest communities in the nation, including Central Virginia’s own Hanover County.
A study done by U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation examined pandemic related date such as COVID-19 vaccines rates and case rates as well as equity, mental health, economy, public health and education. Overall the study looked at 3,000 communities and 84 different health metrics.
Falls Church, Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Arlington County, Hanover County and York County all made the top 100 healthiest communities.
Hanover ranks 61 out of 100 with high marks for population health, equity, education and economy. The county has a median life expectancy of 79.8 years which sits above the national median of 77.5 years. Another thing helping the community’s score is an above average high school graduation rate and high percentage of people with an advanced degree.
Hanover’s unemployment rate is low and the median household income is over $30,000 higher than the rest of the country. In addition to that, the county’s poverty rate is 5.3% while the country has a median rate of 14.2%.
Other Central Virginia communities received much lower rankings, with Goochland County ranking 244 and Chesterfield County coming in at 345. Richmond City and Henrico County did not crack the top 500, although Henrico came much closer than Richmond.
However, Northern Virginia communities excelled according to the study’s findings. Falls Church ranked 3rd overall and Loudon County ranked 4th.
Some other Northern Virginia counties ranked in the top 10 for certain categories including Fairfax County ranking 3rd for mental health and 2nd for population health, Arlington County ranking 3rd for population health and 5th for public safety, and Alexandria ranked 3rd for public safety.