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Study shows Branch County getting healthier

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The health ranking for Branch County compared to the rest of Michigan has improved according to a national study that compares states and counties around the U.S.  The annual University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report was released today. Branch County jumped 7 places from last year, up from 47th place to number 40 in the state.

The survey examines and measures things like how long people live, obesity, poverty, and if people feel good about themselves. It was Branch County’s best boost in the rankings since the report was first published in 2010 when the local numbers also added up to a 47 ranking.

Helping the county move up in the survey of how healthy we are in the county was the average annual jobless rate going down from 9.9 to 8.5%. Also, overall health behaviors including smoking, exercise, and obesity, improved the county from 33rd to 22nd in the state.