In a new study that looked at the healthiest counties in the United States, Guilford County ranked in the top 10 in the state of North Carolina – albeit, just barely.

The study compiled a wide range of data and looked at factors such as life expectancy, the smoking rate, the obesity rate, the activity rate, access to exercise, insurance coverage, air pollution and access to medical care.

When all those factors were taken into account, Guilford County ranked 9th in the state.  Compared to other counties, Guilford County residents smoke less, exercise more and have other healthy practices.

Ninth is pretty good, but no county in the state could top Orange County, which the study ranks as North Carolina’s healthiest county.

The study was conducted by – a healthcare based social network that allows users to share reviews of doctors and other information.

Here are some of the highlights for Guilford County:

  • The county has 79 primary care providers for every 100,000 residents, which means Guilford County compares very favorably to the national average of 55.
  • 89 percent of Guilford County residents have health insurance, which compares favorably to most other counties in the state and is above the national average.
  • The county has a low 19 percent smoking rate.
  • Guilford County has a high exercise rate, 78 percent.

Structurally, Guilford County has a lot of assets that promote a healthy lifestyle and those no doubt ultimately contributed to the county’s positive showing.   It has a good network of trails and parks and it also has one of the most respected Health Departments in the state – one that fosters a barrage of programs that, for instance, fight smoking and promote infant health from the time a child is born.

Forsyth County, right next door, is evidently a much healthier place to live.  It finished in 3rd in the study.