NEOSHO, MO.--- The 2014 County Health Rankings have been released. It's to help counties see where they stand when it comes to being healthy. Counties from all over the country were examined for overall health and well-being.
"The health of your county, I think is important to everybody. If you got unhealthy people, they're not going to be as productive," said Bob Kulp, Newton County Health Department Director.
The 5th edition of the County Health Rankings were released today. Newton County ranked 64 out of 115 counties in Missouri. According to the study, 29 factors were measured, including teen births and smoking. Teen births in Newton County ranked higher than the state average. However, smoking is 18% where in Missouri is 23%.
"We have some high instances of smoking in Southwest Missouri. You know some of the health problems from that, so that's still a priority. And that's something that has been worked on in the area, is trying to encourage people to not smoke," said Kulp.
The County Health Rankings motive is to involve the community, and that's exactly what it does for Newton County.
"Every community needs to have their own health collaborative to find out what their issues are and try to come up with ways to address these issues," said Kulp.
Because of these rankings, Newton County health leaders have an agenda for the residents.
"Trying to get people to eat healthier and get exercise," said Kulp.
Out of the 115 Missouri counties, Jasper County ranked 42nd, Barton 48th, Lawrence 53rd, and McDonald 97th.
Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.