FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Longer life expectancy and healthier lifestyles make Fairfield County the second healthiest county in the Connecticut, according to a national study released Wednesday.
Despite a high rate of excessive drinking, Fairfield County ranked No. 1 for healthy behavior, thanks in part, to being the leanest county in the state, with 18 percent of adults reporting being obese. The data are from the 2013 "County Health Rankings & Roadmaps" study released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Fairfield County also had the lowest rate of car crash deaths and adult smokers in Connecticut. It was third lowest for adults who said they don't exercise.
Fairfield County's lowest ranking came in "Clinical Care," despite having the most primary care physicians in the state. The county has the highest rate of residents under the age of 65 who don't have health insurance.
Fairfield County also has the second most fast food restaurants in the state (534), meaning 37 percent of restaurants are considered fast food.
Other findings from the study:
- Life expectancy: Fairfield County ranked second-lowest for premature deaths, which the study defined as years of potential life lost before age 75.
- Graduation: Fairfield County was in the middle of the pack with an 84 percent high-school graduation rate.
- Drinking: 20 percent of adults reporting heavy drinking, the highest rate in the state.
- Air quality: Fairfield County has among the poorest air quality in the state.
Fairfield County moved up to second in this year's study, after ranking third the previous few years. The healthiest county for 2013 was Tolland, east of Hartford, and New Haven County was at the bottom of the list, at No. 8.