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Hampshire County 14th healthiest  county for children, study says

Hampshire County was named the 14th healthiest county in the nation in which to raise a child in America’s 50 Healthiest Counties for Kids, a new set of rankings by U.S. News.

The ranking took into account infant deaths, low-birth-weight babies, deaths from injuries, teen births, children in poverty, percentage of uninsured children, air quality, rates of adult smoking and adult obesity as well as access to physicians and parks.

The healthiest county for children to live in is Marion County in California, according to the report. It is followed by San Francisco County, Calif.; and Chittenden County, Vt.

Other Massachusetts counties in the top 15 healthiest for children are Norfolk County (4) and Middlesex County (6).

Hampshire County received high marks for its low rates of children born under 5.5 pounds (6.7 percent), infant death rate (337 per 100,000 births), teen birth rate (6.8 pregnancies per 1,000 teens), children in poverty (12.3 percent) and death following an injury (5.8 deaths per 100,000 child injuries).

Methodology to compile the rankings was developed by the magazine and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, which evaluates health data for the U.S. population as part of its County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program.

To see how Hampshire County stacks up against its peers, and to read the full U.S. News article, visit usnews.com.

– KRISTIN PALPINI @kristinpalpini

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