(HOLLAND, MI.) – According to the 2022 County Health Rankings (CHR), Ottawa County ranks among the healthiest counties in Michigan. The annual report ranks Michigan counties based on data collected in two areas: Health Outcomes and Health Factors. Ottawa County ranked number two out of 83 counties in the State of Michigan in both categories.
The current overall health of Ottawa County residents is measured in the Health Outcomes category, which tracks data for five health measures in the areas of Length of Life and Quality of Life.
The future health of county residents is highlighted in the Health Factors category, which tracks 30 health measures in the areas of Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, Social and Economic Factors and Physical Environment.
- Ottawa County did as well or better than Michigan’s overall rating in 80% of measures.
- Compared to top U.S. performing counties, Ottawa County met or exceeded 26% of the benchmark measures.
The CHR also highlights opportunities for improvement.
Ottawa County does not compare favorably to top performing counties for:
- Access to primary care (medical, dental and mental health providers). Though Ottawa County has consistently underperformed in these provider access measures by comparison, its people maintain a high level of overall health as reflected in top rankings for Length of Life and Quality of Life. These two areas mirror the current health of a community. The Ottawa County community has taken deliberate action through its Community Health Improvement Plan to help residents navigate the often complicated health care system and to create solutions that fill gaps.
- Air quality concerns, due to the geographic position we share with other counties along the lakeshore in southwest Michigan, are captured by one of the measures in an area called Physical Environment, where Ottawa County has consistently ranked lower than other Michigan counties and top U.S. performing counties. Despite the current ranking, air quality in Ottawa County has improved over the last two decades.
Other areas where Ottawa County has opportunities to improve involve addressing social determinants of health such as:
- Violent crime, where Ottawa County ranked higher than other Michigan counties, but lower than top U.S. performing counties.
- Excessive drinking increased to 22% of the adult population in this year’s rankings and alcohol-impaired driving deaths remained elevated with 30% of motor vehicle crash deaths involving alcohol.
- Driving alone to work remains a common practice in Ottawa County (82%), slightly higher than the State of Michigan and much higher than top-performing counties across the U.S.
For more information, see the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps information for Michigan.