Presidio County Named Third Healthiest to Live in U.S.

If you’re traveling the U.S. scouting out the top places to retire, you might want to start with Pitkin County, Colorado.

Sure, there are a number of factors that influence a person’s lifespan beyond destination, but according to research conducted by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute, the residents of Pitkin live the longest lives in America.

Pitkin, perhaps best known for its county seat of Aspen, boasts the nation’s lowest mortality rate at 118.5, meaning roughly 0.19 percent of the population will die prematurely (before age 75) in a given year.

For perspective, the median acrossthe U.S. is 376 or 0.38 percent.

Highlighted by Pitkin, Colorado features prominently at the top of the list, with five other counties representing the Centennial State in the top 10. Summit (No. 2), Eagle (No. 5), San Miguel (No. 6), Custer (No. 7), and Douglas (No. 10) each boasts a mortality rate under 170.

Meanwhile, two Texas counties, Presidio (No. 3), and Hartley (No. 9) cracked the top 10, while Mono, California (No. 4) and Teton, Wyoming (No. 8), helped strengthen the case for Western living.

But when it comes to the U.S. counties with the worst lifespans, South Dakota and Kentucky feature heavily, with Oglala Lakota County (previously known as Shannon County up until a recent vote) in South Dakota securing the infamous bottom spot, according to the institute’s research.

With a smoking and obesity-assisted mortality rate of 983.4, Oglala Lakota, which is located within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is signficantly ahead of second-worst Todd, South Dakota (878.2).

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