Didja hear the latest? U.S. News and World Report recently did their annual list of the "Top 500 Healthiest Communities" and yes, Berkshire County made it in.

MassLive reports that nine counties in Massachusetts have been ranked among the healthiest regions in America. That's a pretty good number, considering there are only 14 counties in the Bay State altogether.

The list, put together by U.S. News and World Report in collaboration with Aetna Health, looked at 10 categories that drive community health including infrastructure, public safety, housing affordability, education, population health, and other residential quality of life factors.

Out of the nine Massachusetts counties to make the list, four of them placed in the top 100:

  • Nantucket County came in the highest, ranking at #23
  • Dukes County came in second, at #25
  • Norfolk County placed at #67, and
  • Middlesex County came in at #75

The other five Massachusetts counties to land in the top 500 out of the entire country:

  • Barnstable County at #161
  • Hampshire County at #182
  • Franklin County at #347
  • Berkshire County at #435, and
  • Plymouth County at #469

The top 5 on the list in descending order were:

  • Broomfield County, Colorado, #5
  • Loudon County, Virginia, #4
  • Falls Church City, Virginia, #3
  • Douglas County, Colorado, #2, and
  • Los Alamos County, New Mexico, #1

Another interesting item gleaned from the study was that Rhode Island had the best overall score, placing the most counties in the top 500. By the way, coming in at #500? Juneau City and Borough in Alaska.

MassLive also reports that county-level COVID-19 vaccine rates and other pandemic data played a role in developing the rankings. To check out the complete list of the Top 500, visit U.S. News and World Report's website here.

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