After what we have endured as a city, state, nation, and world over the past 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's safe to say that we look at the word 'healthy' in a whole new context than we did at the beginning of 2020.

And we're also finding that we're using more than just a temperature reading on a thermometer to determine what really constitutes good health.

Case in point: When U.S. News & World Report recently examined the healthiest counties in America they examined a lot more than just health data. They scored counties in ten different categories, including things like public safety, economy. equity, housing, and infrastructure.

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Of the nearly 3,000 counties ranked, a pair of South Dakota counties landed among the Top 50 healthiest in America.

With an overall score of 80 out of 100 (the national average is 48; the state average is 62), Lincoln County was the highest-ranked county in South Dakota (#52). With a population of 61,128, Lincoln had its highest scores in economy and infrastructure (87 each), and population health (82).

The county's lowest marks came in food & nutrition (43) and environment (59).

An additional 30 spots down the list was South Dakota's other entry in the Top 50 - Union County (#82).

With a population of 15,932, Union County scored well in the economy and infrastructure categories (87 each) and poorest in food & nutrition and environment (52 each).

As for the healthiest counties in the United States, Colorado dominated the list with five counties in the Top Ten:


  1. Los Alamos County, New Mexico
  2. Douglas County, Colorado
  3. Falls Church County, Virginia
  4. Loudoun County, Virginia
  5. Broomfield County, Colorado
  6. San Miguel County, Colorado
  7. Pitkin County, Colorado
  8. Howard County, Maryland
  9. Morgan County, Utah
  10. Routt County, Colorado

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born

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