Still at 24th out of the 39 counties in Washington, Pierce County saw no overall movement in the 2017 County Health Rankings. 

But there is good news in slightly lower rates of adult smoking and drinking, improvements in rates of physical activity and a decreasing level of teen births, as well as fewer uninsured and unemployed residents.

The County Health Rankings explore how long people live and how healthy people feel while alive.

“The improvements in some health areas give us hope that the efforts of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and many community partners who are focused on health, are moving the needle in the right direction,” said Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH. “We are working on it – together – and in a year or two, we expect to point to positive results.”

Public health officials believe the way to improve health is to focus on the social, economic and environmental factors that affect it. Dr. Chen points to concrete strategies in his agency’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

The County Health Rankings, measuring the health of nearly every county in the nation, are published online.