BALLSTON SPA – Saratoga County is New York state’s healthiest county and one of the healthiest counties in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Saratoga County finished 60th – which was in the top 2% – in U.S. News & World Report’s Healthiest Communities Rankings 2022, released last week.
The rankings, analyzing 500 communities, used 89 metrics across 10 health and health-related categories to evaluate nearly 3,000 U.S. counties and county equivalents – think boroughs or other municipal entities – according to U.S. News & World Report. The study looked at population health, equity, education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure.
Saratoga County scored 79 out of 100 on the overall rankings, topping the state median score of 57 and the U.S. median score of 47, according to a Saratoga County news release on the study.
“The 2022 Healthiest Communities report establishing Saratoga County as the healthiest county in New York State underscores what we in local government, our economic development partners and local business leaders have known for a long time – Saratoga County is a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Town of Moreau Supervisor Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. said in a news release about the report. “We’ve set the conditions for a robust economy and a healthful quality of life across Saratoga County through thoughtful planning, conservative budgeting practices, and limiting bureaucratic red-tape that leads to over-regulation. The proof is in our results – a safe and welcoming community for all in a county that also boasts the lowest property and sales taxes in New York State.”
Saratoga County scored 80 in education, 78 in public safety, 77 in economy and population health, 76 in infrastructure, 72 in food and nutrition, 71 in equity, 67 in environment, 64 in housing and 53 in community vitality.
The next highest-ranking New York community was Nassau County at 98th. Los Alamos County, New Mexico, finished top overall.
To collect and analyze the data behind the rankings, U.S. News collaborated with the University of Missouri Extension Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems (CARES). Data was collected from well-recognized and validated sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Saratoga County’s data supported its strong ranking. In education, Saratoga County’s high school graduation rate is at 90.8%, compared to 89.3%, nationally, according to the county. Meanwhile 53.6% of Saratoga County’s residents have an advanced degree, compared to 30.6% nationally.
In public safety, Saratoga County’s $441 per capita spending on health and emergency services is stronger than the national median at $358. The county’s violent crime rate is half that of the national average at 102.6 per 100,000 compared to 204.5 per 100,000 nationally.
Economically, the county’s poverty rate of 5.9% is below the national average of 13.6%, while Saratoga County’s median household income is $84,971 compared to $58,759 nationally, according to the county. The county’s business growth rate clocks in at 8.2% compared to the national rate of 7.7%.
“Saratoga County continues to grow upon our global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity. The combined efforts of county leadership, partner organizations and continued development investment positions us to support existing industry and encourage continuous investment; while also attracting targeted, complementary businesses,” Dennis Brobston, president of Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, said in the news release.
Saratoga’s recognition in the U.S. News & World Report rankings follows last year’s U.S. Census Bureau data showing Saratoga County to be the Capital Region’s largest population gainer, growing by 7.24%. Saratoga County’s population gain came at a time when nearly two-thirds of the state’s counties saw a decline in population.
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.