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Pierce County holds steady in County Health Rankings, following years of recent progress.

Where you live, work, learn, and play helps determine how healthy you are and how long you live. That’s why we continue to prioritize increasing health opportunities in places with the greatest needs. We know that will improve our overall health.

The 2022 County Health Rankings released Wednesday, April 27, rank Pierce County 19 out of 38 counties in the state. These rankings look at more than 90 health-influencing factors that help determine how long and how well we live and help us understand how we compare to our neighbors.

A decade ago, the County Health Rankings placed Pierce County at 26th. Five years ago, we ranked 24th and in 2020, we were 22nd. The past 2 years we’ve held steady at 19th.

“We’re happy to see our improvement through the years and pleased we haven’t lost the progress we’ve made,” said Naomi Wilson, head of our data and surveillance team.

Much of the data used in this year’s report was collected before the COVID-19 pandemic. “So much has changed the past few years,” Wilson said. “While this report is a helpful tool to look at where we are as a county, much of the data comes from several different sources that are several years old.”

Our COVID-19 Health Assessment shows the pandemic disproportionally affected our BIPOC communities. We also found people living in poor social and economic conditions were much more likely to be infected with COVID-19.

At the same time, we know people who live in rural areas tend to be older and sicker than urban residents. They’re also more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lung disease, and stroke.

County Health Rankings are one data source that helps us to inform our strategy as we work to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County.

Our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan uses past County Health Rankings and many other data sources to focus our efforts to improve population health in Pierce County, including improving life expectancy and ensuring more infants are born at healthier weights.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.

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