Three cheers for Howard County, the healthiest place in Md.

Congratulations are in order for Howard County: It is the healthiest place in the state.

(This news will undoubtedly please my boss, who lives there, and of course this frustrates me because these results give her more leverage over me, her employee, a resident of Montgomery County, which placed second.)

The rankings — Queen Anne’s is third and Frederick is fourth — came as part of a massive study by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study crunched stats on premature death, poor health, low birth weight babies and a slew of other factors.

Howard County ranked No. 2 in mortality, slightly edged out by Montgomery County, but it ranked first in morbidity (poor health, low birth rate), health factors (obesity, motor vehicle crashes) and clinical care (primary care physicians, uninsured).

Who ranked last?

Baltimore City, which was No. 24 in almost every major category. While Howard County had 4,148 premature deaths, Baltimore City had a shocking — and quite sad — 14,441. Baltimore City’s physical inactivity rate rate is 31 percent compared to Howard County’s 18 percent.

You can see all the Maryland data here. You can read about how the data was compiled here.

What thoughts do you have about these results? What other nuggets did you find digging through the report? What larger measure do these results send about the times in which we live?

Comment below. I’m hoping to have a thoughtful discussion about this.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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