Franklin County is a little healthier.

It moved up one spot this year in the County Health Rankings, an annual report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. It’s now ranked sixth among Maine’s 16 counties, up from seventh place.

“I think it’s fantastic news,” said Jennifer McCormack, executive director of the Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County.

Cumberland County, which routinely places near the top, ranked first in the 2017 report. Washington County, which often falls near the bottom, ranked 16th. 

Oxford County ranked 10th and Androscoggin County ranked 13th, the same spots they held in 2016.

Because a number of things factor into a county’s ranking — including how well or how poorly other counties do — it’s unclear what, exactly, caused Franklin to move up one spot. However, the county did see improvement in premature deaths, jumping from the middle of the pack to one of the best in the state between the 2016 and 2017 rankings. Sexually transmitted infections, unemployment rates and violent crime deaths also dropped. 

McCormack said the Healthy Community Coalition, schools, businesses and the local hospital have been working together to try to improve the health of people in the county.

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How healthy is your county? From the 2017 County Health Rankings for health outcomes:

1: Cumberland

2: Sagadahoc

3: Knox

4: York

5: Hancock

6: Franklin

7: Kennebec

8: Waldo

9: Lincoln

10: Oxford

11: Penobscot

12: Somerset

13: Androscoggin

14: Piscataquis

15: Aroostook

16: Washington


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