Taking the temperature

This Houston neighbor weighs in as the healthiest county in the region, says U.S. News

Houston neighbor weighs in as the healthiest county in the region

sugar land town square woman sunning
Fort Bend County offers a sunny and healthy lifestyle.  Photo courtesy of Visit Sugar Land

For babies and baby boomers alike, Fort Bend County stands out as the healthiest county in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas, according to a new study by U.S. News & World Report.

Fort Bend County lands at No. 291 on U.S. News’ list of the 500 healthiest countiesU.S. News assessed 2,735 of the 3,143 counties across the U.S. but ranked only 500 of them.

For the study, U.S. News examined 89 metrics across 10 categories tied to health: 

  1. Community health
  2. Health, income, education, and social equity
  3. Education
  4. Economy
  5. Housing
  6. Food and nutrition
  7. Environment
  8. Public safety
  9. Community vitality
  10.  Infrastructure

Fort Bend's highest score was in the economy category (90); its lowest score was in the environment category (25). The bustling county also scored well in education (80), with 94.3 percent of residents graduating high school (compared to a national average of 89.4 percent) and an impressive 54 percent holding advanced degrees — compared to a 30.6 national average. 

Some 77.5 percent of Fort Bend residents own homes, compared to 73.2 percent nationwide. Little wonder, then, that Fort Bend was recently named the second-richest county in Texas.

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas' Collin County lands at No. 50 on U.S. News’ list of the 500 healthiest counties in the U.S., making it the healthiest county in the state. Two other counties in Dallas-Fort Worth made the top 500 in the U.S. News study: Rockwall County wound up at No. 70 and Denton County landed at No. 180.

Other Texas counties that fared well in the U.S. News study are:

  • No. 91 Kendall County (San Antonio). Its highest score was in the economy category (79); its lowest score was in the housing category (53).
  • No. 121 Williamson County (Austin). Its highest score was in the economy category (93); its lowest score was in the housing category (52).
  • No. 295 Travis County (Austin). Its highest score was in the infrastructure category (92); its lowest score was in the equity category (41).
  • No. 453 Comal County (San Antonio). Its highest score was in the economy category (75); its lowest score was in the environment category (43).