State Health Rankings

 

Every year, the United Health Foundation publishes its state health rankings, a report of data collected on 23 measures of health compiled by different federal agencies. The rankings take into account behavioral, socioeconomic, and other factors that predict good health of a state, like rates of binge drinking, smoking and obesity, and factors like air pollution, violent crime, childhood poverty, and low rates of health insurance.

Between 1990 and 2000, health measures improved, but over the last decade that improvement slowed. In 2011 there was no improvement. The poor economy has been blamed, a factor that may influence poor health habits. Overall the report finds that 27.5 percent of the population is obese, 17.3 percent smoke cigarettes, and 8.7 percent have diabetes, all preventable contributors to poor health.

The five most unhealthy states:

50. Mississippi

49. Louisiana

48. Oklahoma

47. Arkansas

46. Alabama

The five healthiest states:

1. Vermont

2. New Hampshire

3. Connecticut

4. Hawaii

5. Massachusetts

For the full report, click here.

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