America’s Health Rankings has released their newest list of the healthiest states in America, deciding the list based on 22 different criteria. At the top of the healthiest states list in overall score are Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Minnesota respectively. The Healthiest state list is a compilation of many different categories ranging from prevalence of smoking to high school graduation percentages, and it is compiled by America’s Health Rankings each year.
At the bottom of the list of healthiest states, Louisiana currently sits as the unhealthiest state in the nation, with Mississippi sitting at #49, and South Carolina ranked at #48. The three states are part of a group of 17 that are considered below average when it comes to the health measurements, and according to the rankings would need massive improvements state-wide to increase their scores on these lists.
Vermont is once again the healthiest state in the nation, continuing to show a high rate of high school graduation, a low prevalence of obesity, and a low percentage of children in poverty. According to the report, public funding increased by 49% per capita and infant mortality rates within the state were also decreased by 37%. With low violent crime statistics, and the high number of primary care physicians in the state, Vermont held on to the top spot.
On the other end of the scale is Louisiana, which dropped from #49 to the unhealthiest state in the nation. The reason for this were summed up in three severe challenges, as the state has high percentages of children in poverty, a high rate of uninsured population, and a high rate of preventable hospitalizations. As a state they have seen a decrease of 8% in high school graduations as well as an increase of 150% for obesity statistics. Though things look bad, they have a couple of positives working in their favor, as public health funding has increased as well as the access to primary care physicians within the state.
The Top 10 Healthiest States:
3. New Hampshire
The 10 Unhealthiest States:
48. South Carolina
Source: The Healthiest State Report