Health Outcomes

Health Outcomes
The Health Outcomes are a representation of how healthy a county is right now. They reflect both the physical and mental health of residents in a community through measures illustrating the length and quality of one's life. The County Health Rankings measures life expectancy, premature death rate, birth risk factors, and overall rating of physical and mental health as key factors that influence a community’s health outcomes (1).

The life expectancy for a child born in Mason County is 79.6 years. Similarly, the life expectancy for the state of Washington is 79.85 years. The life expectancy rate for the county has steadily increased over the past 25 years. Between 1995 and 2020, the average life expectancy increased by 5.09 years (2).Mason County Life Expectancy, 79.6 years.

The top three leading causes of death, for both males and females in Mason County, are heart disease, cancer, and accidents (unintentional injury). The type of cancer that causes the most deaths in the county is lung cancer (3).

Top 9 Causes of Death for Mason County with Washington State comparison.

Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) is the measurement of the rate and distribution of premature deaths. Measuring premature deaths, rather than overall mortality, focuses more attention on the deaths that could have been prevented.

Years of Potential Life Lost line chart.

The YPLL in Mason County (dark green line) has remained relatively consistent over time, with a decline starting in 2015. While Mason County’s YPLL rates remain higher than those of the state, they have consistently been lower than neighboring county, Grays Harbor, and more recently lower than Lewis County. Both neighboring counties, as well as Mason County, and the state have all had an increase in YPLL rates since 2018 (3).


Morbidity measures the burden of disease on a population and can reveal how healthy a community is. It can also show indicators for future health. Many of the leading causes of death and chronic diseases are caused or made worse by unhealthy lifestyle choices. Many of these poor behaviors are established in childhood and can include eating and exercise habits.

Hospitalizations in Mason CountyPrevalence of Select Adult Health Risk Factors bar graph, Mason County
Prevalence of Selected Unhealthy Habits Among Students, horizontal bar graph

The amount of screentime among students has been increasing over the past few years. One cause of this is the COVID-19 pandemic. As students shifted to online schooling, with less access to recreational places, the amount of time they spend on their phones or computers has increased. Another cause of this increase is the rise in popularity of social media apps, including TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat (4, 5).


(1) County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
(2) United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Mason County. 
(3) Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Death Certificate Data, 1990-2019, Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT), April 2023.
(4) Washington State Department of Health. (2021). Healthy Youth Survey.
(5) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2012-2021. Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT), December 2021.