County Health Rankings show Yakima in the bottom third of counties in Washington State but they also show an improvement over last year.

Yakima County’s overall health ranking, according to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is 31st among 39 counties.

Last year Yakima ranked 33rd in Washington State but consider that with the caveat that Washington ranks among the top 10 healthiest States in the nation.

The numbers show Yakima remains in the lower tier due to obesity, physical inactivity, and sexually transmitted infections.

The Yakima Health District News release says "good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care such as education, and jobs – factors that Yakima can do something about. In fact, Yakima’s rankings demonstrated a significant decrease in preventable hospitals stays and the number of uninsured individuals, as well as an increase in overall high school graduation rates."

Challenges that remain - the median household income in Yakima is $48,200, 28% below the State average, 26% of Yakima kids live in poverty and the teen birth rate in Yakima is 138% higher than the State average.

The Yakima Health District reports it's currently engaged in work to prevent and contain tuberculosis, STIs, HIV and other communicable diseases, monitoring the safety of food and drinking water, as well as coordinating access to free screening for breast, cervical and colon cancer.

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