It does not come as a surprise that Moore County ranks as one of the top 25 healthiest counties in North Carolina according to the latest “County Health Rankings” compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Out of North Carolina’s 100 counties, Moore County ranked #22 in Health Outcomes and #10 in Health Factors for 2018.
In its 9th year, the annual County Health Rankings measure vital health-related factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income inequality, and teen births in nearly every county in America. The rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play.
Moore County was #22 in overall Health Outcomes, which indicates how healthy a county is. The County Health Rankings measured two (2) types of health outcomes: how long people live (mortality) and how healthy people feel while alive, also called the “health-related quality of life” that includes components of physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning. Within Health Outcomes, Moore County ranked #17 in the Quality of Life category.
Moore County was #10 in Health Factors, which represent what influences the health of a county. Influencers include things like health behaviors, clinical care, social & economic factors, and physical environment. The County Health Rankings measured behaviors such as alcohol & tobacco use and diet & exercise. Clinical care refers to having access to care and what level of quality that care is. Within Health Factors, Moore County ranked #7 in the Clinical Care category. Social & economic factors studied include community safety, education, employment, and family support. Physical environment includes air & water quality, housing, and transportation.
Of the various measurements, Moore County rated especially high in the following areas:
- Food Environment Index: the quality of the food environment in terms of access to reliable sources of food and access to healthy foods = 7.9 (with 10 being the best), compared to NC at 6.4.
- Primary Care Physicians: the ratio of the population to primary care physicians (practicing non-federal MDs & DOs) = 960:1, compared to NC at 1,420:1.
- Children in Poverty: children under the age of 18 living in poverty (based on income and family size) = 17%, compared to NC at 22%.
Moore County had the highest Health Outcomes ranking of all of our neighboring counties except Chatham at #10. However, Moore surpassed Chatham in the Quality of Life and Clinical Care categories.
These high rankings are not surprising as healthy living in our communities is a priority. Moore County is home to the nationally-acclaimed FirstHealth of the Carolinas healthcare system where residents have convenient access to Moore Regional Hospital -- one of the best hospitals in North Carolina – as well as FirstHealth’s multiple family medicine centers, urgent care centers, and fitness centers; and a variety of other specialty care facilities – all committed to high-quality, innovative care. The County has embraced the Local Foods movement and boasts a variety of farmers markets and local restaurants that feature fresh, wholesome food products grown by local farmers. There are hundreds of acres of parks and natural areas for outdoor recreational pursuits, and in Pinehurst and Southern Pines alone, there are more than 21 miles of greenway trails for hiking and biking. These are just a few of the endless opportunities available to residents who want to engage in a healthy lifestyle.
Click here for more information about the County Health Rankings.