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Lake County lags behind state health averages, according to annual County Health Rankings

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Northwest Indiana continues facing challenges when it comes to community health. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released its 2022 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps this week.

Lake County ranked 64th of Indiana's 92 counties when it comes to health outcomes, like length and quality of life — but fared worse for health factors, coming in third-lowest in the state. Specifically, Lake County saw a higher rate of preventable hospital stays and children in poverty, and more air pollution than the state as a whole. While Lake County residents had better access to exercise opportunities, they still had higher rates of physical inactivity and adult obesity.

Porter County fared better overall, coming in ninth in Indiana for health outcomes and 15th for health factors. But one socioeconomic factor stands out: Porter County has one of the state's largest gender pay gaps based on median earnings, with women making 62 cents for every dollar earned by men. However, the median household income was significantly higher than the state average.