This year’s top 10 healthiest states were just announced.
America’s Health Rankings is an annual report that analyses the nation’s health and ranks the states from healthiest to unhealthiest. The report is the result of the collaboration of the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention.
But how does a state make it into the top 10? There are four main categories that America’s Health Rankings analyses to determine the healthiest states: the behaviour and everyday activities of people living in each state, the community and environment that people are living in in each state, state health policies, and clinical care. This includes data on things like smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, binge drinking, high school graduation rates, and children in poverty.
Below you can see the healthiest states in the U.S. and some of the reasons they made the top of the list. Did your state crack the top 10?
10. New Jersey
Air quality has improved in the state. In the past 10 years the rate of cardiovascular deaths has decreased by 1/3.
9. North Dakota
More kids graduated from high school in North Dakota this year and there is more public health funding available per person in the state.
You can find some of the best air quality in Colorado and some of the lowest obesity and diabetes rates. Colorado stole the number eight spot from North Dakota this year.
Connecticut held on to its same rank as last year. More people in the state are active and more people have health insurance.
People in Utah smoke and binge drink less than in other states, but the state does experience a high rate of drug-related deaths.
5. New Hampshire
This state held onto the same rank as last year. Smoking and cardiovascular deaths have decreased over the past few years.
Massachusetts has one of the lowest obesity rates in the nation: 23% of the adult population. Increasingly more kids are graduating from high school.
People in Minnesota were more physically active this year and the prevalence of diabetes in the state is one of the lowest in the nation. The rate of cardiovascular deaths has decreased by 40% over the past 10 years.
Smoking and heart disease deaths have decreased in Vermont. Interestingly the amount of binge drinking and children in poverty increased, but the state is still holding on to the number two spot.
How did Hawaii top the list as the healthiest state? There was a big decrease in the number of people who smoke and the amount of violent crime. The state has a long history of being part of the top 10: the lowest Hawaii has slipped is to the number six spot since the report began in 1990.
Below are the states that improved the most from 2012. The column on the far right shows how many spots they jumped.
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