Health Rankings Report Shows Progress and Opportunities for Malheur County

Malheur County Health Department (MCHD) is excited to announce that our county has been ranked 26th out of 35 counties in Oregon State for 2023 by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. This continues the trend of improvement over the past four years and the hard work of public health to improve wellbeing for Malheur County residents.

Health rankings are determined based on data gathered to assess several factors like health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. These factors influence our residents’ quality of life, which directly affect length of life.

Previously, Malheur ranked lower for health outcomes and health factors. See the ranking for the past several years for Malheur County below. The number of total counties represents how many of the 36 counties in Oregon participated in the initiative.

  • 2023: 26th of 35 counties
  • 2022: 28th of 35 counties
  • 2021: 28th of 34 counties
  • 2020: 30th of 35 counties
  • 2019: 32nd of 35 counties  

The County Health Rankings is a set of annual reports that show how counties compare to other counties in their states in overall health, and how they stack up in performance on specific health factors against national benchmarks.

Malheur County health behaviors boast a lower than average percentage of alcohol-impaired driving deaths and more adults than average getting sufficient sleep. Our number of adults who are unemployed is 4.4% compared to the state average of 5.2%. The number of 9th grade students who graduate high school is 88%, above both the state and national averages. Other areas of celebration are a smaller number of firearm fatalities and fewer long commutes alone than the state and national averages.

Sarah Poe, MCHD Director, is optimistic given the improved ranking, noting that “Malheur County should be proud of this year’s ranking as progress in health outcomes, in terms of length of life and quality of life. These numbers are a direct reflection of our community’s efforts to get healthier. The report also shows up several areas where we can focus our attention and improve.”

Areas of improvement include adult smoking, obesity, access to physical activity, sexually transmitted infections, teen births, children in poverty, child care, housing problems, and juvenile arrests.

All of the data gathered will be analyzed by MCHD and used as a baseline to identify areas that need improvement and how our department can address these issues. To see the full county snapshot, visit:

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