Larimer County Among the Healthiest Counties in Colorado

Fort Collins; Photo courtesy of Bike Sports

Larimer County ranks among the healthiest counties in the state of Colorado, according to the new County Health Rankings data from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).

The new County Health Rankings report, which is released annually, shows that Larimer County scores high in many areas:

  • 92% of Larimer County residents have adequate access to locations with physical activity, which is higher than state and national rates.

  • Larimer County has a low teen birth rate (9 births per 1,000 females 15-19 years old, compared to Colorado’s rate of 16 births per 1,000) and has seen a 70% drop in teen births between 2007 to 2020.

  • The county has a lower rate than the state in deaths related to injuries such as homicides, suicides, motor vehicle crashes, sudden unexpected infant deaths, and poisonings.

While ranking among the top 25% of healthiest counties in Colorado, there are opportunities for improvement:

  • Air pollution – Larimer County is ranked 18th out of 226 metropolitan areas for high ozone days, and 30th out of 221 metropolitan areas for 24-hour particle pollution.

  • Tobacco use and vaping use remain elevated among youth and adults, and 13% of adults in Larimer County smoke. Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United State.

  • 17% of Larimer County residents are experiencing severe housing problems, including high housing costs and overcrowding.

“Having robust public health data helps us determine where we should focus our efforts to ensure we’re addressing the greatest needs in our communities,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.

County Health Rankings reports that counties with well-resourced civic infrastructure have higher rates of high school completion, higher household incomes, less income inequality, and lower rates of children in poverty and uninsured adults. In these communities, people also tend to live longer.

LCDHE recently launched its own Health, Well-Being, and Resilience Data Dashboard, which features 8 social and economic factors that impact health. “The conditions in which we live impact how healthy we are. These include housing affordability, food insecurity, climate change, and the environment, and access to quality and affordable childcare, among others,” says Gonzales.

LCDHE is currently taking action to hear from many community members, especially those most impacted by the social and economic factors that impact health, as well as from partner agencies. They are using multiple data sources, including the County Health Rankings data, to establish the priorities for their next five-year Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP will set forth plans to address two priority areas that the community will be identifying in the coming weeks.

“I am encouraged to see that we are moving in a positive direction in many areas,” says Gonzales. “I also recognize that we have more work to do, and we will continue to work with our partners to address these challenges.”

Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

BONUS - Donors get a link in their receipt to sign up for our once-per-week instant text messaging alert. Get your e-copy of North Forty News the moment it is released!

Click to Donate