When it comes to STL's metropolitan area, at least on the western side of the river, St. Charles is the healthiest haven.
St. Charles has been ranked as the No. 2 healthiest county in Missouri, according to a 2021 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
There are 115 counties in Missouri, a number that includes the city of St. Louis.
The only county to earn a higher health rating was Platte County, which is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
The rankings were based on a combination of factors, including health outcomes, such as death rates and birth weights; health factors (smoking and obesity); socio-economic factors (education, employment, poverty levels); environment (water and air quality, driving safety); and clinical care (quality of physical and mental health services).
Here are how the other counties in STL stacked up health-wise: St. Louis County (23), Warren (30), Franklin (40), Lincoln (48), Jefferson (51) and St. Louis city (110).
After Platte and St. Charles, the Nos. 3-5 healthiest counties were, respectively, Clay and Johnson counties near Kansas City, and then Christian County, south of Springfield.
The five counties finishing lower than St. Louis city, Nos. 111-115 were all located in or near the Missouri Bootheel: New Madrid, Dunklin, Ripley, Mississippi and, last, Pemiscot.
Your weekly capsule of local news, life advice, trivia and humor from Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Holleman.