Kern County ranked toward bottom of California's healthiest counties

A new report put Kern County toward the bottom of the list when it comes to good health.

Kern County was ranked 54 of 58 counties when it came to smoking, unemployment, crime rates, physical activity and general overall health.

Kern County had a high rate of premature deaths, sexually transmitted infections, teen births, violent crime and drinking water violations compared to California.

There are a low rate of physicians and dentists, mental health providers, and access to exercise opportunities, the data indicated.

Kern County was on par with California on excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired deaths, insurance enrollment, high school graduation, and air pollution.

The study addressed the issues and a roadmap for change.

County leaders said they welcome the information so they can try to fix what is wrong.

"Discouraging information, but encouraging in that we are having a conservation regularly and consistently about what are some of our greatest challenges," said Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

This is the fifth annual report completed by the University of Wisconsin.

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