The 50 US states ranked from most to least healthy

United Health FoundationThe healthiest states are in light blue while the darker blue corresponds with the less healthy states.

Not all states are created equal when it comes to health.

To get a better sense of how healthy each state in the US is, for the 28th year in a row, the United Health Foundation has ranked America’s states.

Massachusetts made the top of the list as America’s healthiest state, while Mississippi was declared the unhealthiest.

Looking at data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and the Census bureau, the rankings took into account everything from obesity and smoking to community and environmental factors, such as child poverty and air pollution, to public policies like immunizations, and health outcomes like cancer deaths and diabetes.

At the same time, the UHF noted some troubling trends: premature death (that is, deaths that occur before an older age) rate and the drug death rate have both been increasing.

Here’s are all 50 states, ranked from healthiest to least healthy.


1. Massachusetts ranked the healthiest state for the first time in the ranking’s 28-year history. “Massachusetts’ strengths include the lowest percentage of uninsured at 2.7% of the population, a low prevalence of obesity and a high number of mental health providers,” the report said.

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2. Hawaii, which held the top spot on the health ranking for five years, has a low prevalence of obesity and smoking, along with the second lowest percentage of people who are uninsured.


3. Vermont has a low uninsured population, and a low prevalence of diabetes. In the last five years, the drug overdose death rates in the state have increased by 50%.


4. Utah had a meteoric rise in the rankings based in part on its improved rankings in air pollution and immunizations among children. Utah also has the lowest prevalence of smoking and the highest rate of physical activity.


5. Connecticut has one of the lowest rates of obesity in the country and has one of the lowest percentages of uninsured people. But the state does have a higher rate of drug overdose deaths.

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6. Minnesota has one of the lowest uninsured populations in the US and the lowest rate of cardiovascular deaths. The state does have a high prevalence of excessive drinking.


7. Colorado has the lowest prevalence of both diabetes and obesity in the US. The state also has a the second lowest rate of cancer deaths in the country.


8. New Hampshire had among the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the US, while it has the lowest rate of children in poverty and a low violent crime rate.


9. Washington has a low smoking prevalence and a low rate of physical inactivity.

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10. Since the start of the health rankings in 1990, New York has risen 30 places to get to #10. The state has among the most primary care doctors for its population and has a relatively low cancer death rate.


11. Rhode Island has a relatively low rate of uninsured people, but a high rate of drug overdose deaths.

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12. New Jersey has a low prevalence of smoking and is tied with Massachusetts for the most dentists for its population. The state is also one of the least physically active in the US.


13. Nebraska has the second-lowest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country, though it is among the states with the highest rates of excessive drinking.


14. Idaho has some of the cleanest air in the US, and a low violent crime rate. The state does have the fewest primary care doctors for its population.

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15. Iowa has one of the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country, and a high insured rate. The state is among the states with the fewest mental health providers, though.


16. Maryland has a low prevalence of smoking and child poverty rate, while the state does have relatively high levels of air pollution and a higher violent crime rate.

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17. California saw a large decrease in the number of people who were uninsured in the state. California also had among the lowest obesity prevalence, and smoking rates. The state did have the most air pollution in the country, however.


18. North Dakota has low levels of air pollution, and a lower rate of drug overdose deaths. Smoking has become more prevalent in the state over the last five years.

Courtesy of Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

19. Virginia has among the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country and a low violent crime rate.

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20. Oregon is among the most physically active states in the country and is one of the states with the most mental health providers.


21. Wisconsin had the highest rate of excessive drinking in the country. The state also has among the lowest uninsured rates.


22. Montana had relatively low rates of obesity and diabetes, and high rates of physical activity.


23. Maine dropped in the 2017 rankings from the 15th spot. The state had the least amount of violent crime in the country, and a relatively high number of mental health providers.


24. South Dakota experienced an increase in smoking prevalence over the last five years.


25. Kansas saw its obesity prevalence decrease over the past year from 34% of adults to 31%. The state also had among the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths.


26. Wyoming had the least amount of air pollution of the 50 states. The state also had among the lowest rates of diabetes in the country.

Shutterstock/Jerry Sanchez

27. Illinois saw a large decrease in smoking rates over the past five years, though obesity prevalence did increase over the same period. Illinois also had the second highest air pollution levels in the US.


28. Pennsylvania is among the states with the highest number of primary care doctors for its population, but it’s among the lowest when it comes to mental health providers.

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29. Alaska was one of the most physically active states in the US. It also had the second-highest uninsured rate in the country.

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30. Delaware saw a decrease in its cancer death rate over the last five years.

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31. Arizona has among the most air pollution in the US, along with relatively few mental health providers in the state. The state has low rates of cancer and cardiovascular deaths.

Mike Kline/Getty ImagesThe Grand Canyon Skywalk.

32. Florida improved its rankings in 2017, with the report citing improvements to rankings in children in poverty, and disparity in health status.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images)Miami, Florida.

33. North Carolina has among the highest infectious disease rates, though it had among the highest immunization rates for children. The state also has a higher uninsured rate.

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34. Texas has a relatively low rate of drug deaths, though it does have among the fewest primary care doctors for its population. The state had among the lowest smoking rates as well as cancer death rates.


35. Michigan has among the lowest public health funding per person, though it does have a relatively low uninsured rate and a high number of primary care doctors.


36. New Mexico has among the highest rates of premature death and drug deaths, though it has among the lowest rates of cancer and cardiovascular deaths.

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37. In the last five years, Nevada has seen its cancer death rates decline, while cardiovascular death rates have increased. Smoking rates have also dropped over the last five years. Nevada has among the highest uninsured rates.

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38. Indiana experienced a decrease in air pollution levels in the past five years. The state had relatively lower rates of children in poverty, while its smoking and obesity rates were relatively high.

KYPhua / Shutterstock.com

39. Ohio was one of the states that’s experienced the largest increase in drug-related death rates. The state also had relatively high air pollution and smoking rates.

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40. Missouri fell 16 places from 2016’s rankings. Missouri has a high rate of violent crime, contributing to its lower ranking.

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41. Georgia is among the least physically active states, and has some of the highest child poverty rates, and a relatively high percentage of uninsured people. On a more positive note, Georgia was among the states with the least drug overdose death rates.


42. Kentucky, which rose in the rankings from 45 in 2016, has a high prevalence of smoking, along with the highest rate of cancer deaths. Kentucky also had the second highest rate of drug deaths, next to West Virginia. The state also has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the US.


43. Oklahoma, which also rose in the rankings from 2016 when it came in at 46, has a high cardiovascular death rate. Oklahoma also was among the states with the highest uninsured rate, while having a relatively high number of mental health providers.


44. South Carolina has a fairly high infectious disease rate and at the same time has low teen vaccination rates. The state also has a relatively low number of dentists.

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45. Tennessee has a relatively high obesity rate, and a high prevalence of smoking. The state also has among the highest violent crime rates in the country.

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46. West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the US, the highest rate of obesity, and the highest rate of smoking, though it also one of the most insured populations in the country and had the highest rate of public health funding per person.


47. Alabama has a high prevalence of cardiovascular deaths and diabetes and a low number of dentists for its population. The state also has the lowest number of mental health providers.


48. Arkansas has a high prevalence of obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking. The state also has the fewest dentists per 100,000 people of 50 states.


49. Louisiana, has high rates of obesity, physical inactivity, and infant mortality. It also had the highest rate of infection in the US.


50. Mississippi ranked as the state with the highest rate of cardiovascular deaths, has a high smoking prevalence, and a high rate of children in poverty. The state does have a relatively low rate of drug overdose deaths.

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