Health in Mississippi counties: DeSoto 1st, Quitman last

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Fast-growing and relatively prosperous DeSoto County is the healthiest county in Mississippi, while low-income Quitman County is the least healthy.

That’s according to new rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

This is the fourth year for the groups to assess nearly every county in the United States. They look at health behaviors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and sexually transmitted infections. They also look at the percentage of uninsured residents and social and economic factors such as education levels and unemployment rates.

The five healthiest Mississippi counties, in order, are DeSoto, Lamar, Lafayette, Rankin and Madison. The five least healthy, starting at the bottom, are Quitman, Coahoma, Wilkinson, Holmes and Claiborne.

One Mississippi county, Issaquena, was not ranked.

More on this story including area counties rank in Thursday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.