Nevada lags nation in some health measures, holds own in others


pulseNationally, 10 percent of the population under age 65 have no health insurance. In Nevada, it’s 13 percent.

Nationally, there is one primary care doctor for every 1,330 people. In Nevada, it’s one per 1,760.

Those are among health rankings in a study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. In addition to clinical care measures like the rate of uninsured and the number of doctors, the study also measures health outcomes (low birth weight or premature death, for example), and health factors, including social, economic and environmental conditions that have more of an impact on health than health care.

Nevadans smoke (16 percent), drink excessively (18 percent), and fail to exercise (22 percent) at or even below national rates. And in Nevada, 78 percent of the workforce drives to work alone. That’s more or less typical — nationally, 76 percent of the workforce drives to work alone.

Nevada also fares at or near national measures in some health outcomes, including premature deaths, low birth weights, and poor physical health days.

Statewide health findings are driven by the population concentration in Clark County. But the national report also ranks the health of counties within each state. In Nevada, of 15 counties ranked (Esmeralda and Eureka counties were not ranked), Douglas County was ranked highest for health factors, and second highest in health outcomes. Nye County ranked last in health outcomes, and next to last in health factors.

Overall, Lincoln County was ranked first, and Nye County last.

2019 County Health Rankings Report, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


  1. Nye County LAST in health factors (overweight, can’t get off couch, huffing away at their Marlboros between MacGrizzle burgers). Nye County FIRST in demanding their sheriff DEFY even the most reasonable & innocuous firearm regulations (“gosh Hilda, today gun-sales background checks, tomorrow the jack-booted thugs arrive to confiscate our 37 rifles & handguns!”). Remind me to exercise my own civil disobedience, like speeding thru scarey Pahrump fastest I can, to get to the (liberal!) spring wildflower show over in Death Valley

    • Lol, we live 3000 away from our former hometown but whenever my husband plays fallout: New Vegas it always feels like they didn’t have to do anything to the Nye county area of the map and it makes me feel a little nostalgic. *Sigh*
      “Oh, look honey, a crazy ‘roided up naked person is running at you with a weapon, just like the last time we were in Pahrump, visiting your uncle.”


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