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Harford County

Harford County ranks among top 300 healthiest counties nationwide

Harford County was recently recognized as one of the top 300 healthiest communities in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Healthiest Communities rankings.

According to census data, there are just over 3,000 counties in the country, meaning Harford County is within the top 10%.


“This independent recognition shows there’s a lot of great things happening here in our county,” said Mark Shaver, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health’s senior vice president of strategy, physician services and business development.

Out of the 500 entries on the list, Harford County clocked in at No. 283. Howard, Montgomery, Carroll, Frederick and Anne Arundel counties ranked above Harford on the list. Calvert, Queen Anne’s and St. Mary’s counties also made the list.


The report scored almost 3,000 counties across 89 various indicators within 10 categories: population health, equity, education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure.

Harford County scored highest in the economy and public safety categories, with scores of 79 and 71 out of 100. Its’ lowest category was housing, with a score of 50.

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health is responsible for several initiatives geared toward boosting community health, such as providing primary care and prevention services to over 36,000 people in Harford County, holding diabetes prevention and self-management classes and coordinating food access and funding from University of Maryland Medical System for 80,000 meals in the last year.

“We’ve always been very engaged in the health of the community,” Shaver said.

Shaver noted there are ways the county can still improve community health. For example, Harford County has more smokers than the rest of the state. According to 2019 data from the Maryland Department of Health, 20.6% of Harford County smoked that year, as opposed to only 13.1% of residents in the entire state.

The county currently offers “Quit Tobacco” classes through the health department, open to any adult year-round who wants to quit.