healthiest stateMassachusetts has been ranked as the third healthiest state in the Nation by America’s Health Rankings which is a part of United Health Foundation. If you are looking to get fit or surround yourself with other fit people, just head to New England. Three New England states made it into the top five of the list and four are in the top ten.

The states that ranked the highest were:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Vermont
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Connecticut
  5. Utah
  6. Minnesota
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Colorado
  9. North Dakota
  10. Nebraska

The states at the bottom of the list included: Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Indiana.

There were a number of factors that were considered to determine the healthiest state. A few of Massachusetts’ strengths included:

  • Low percentage of uninsured population
  • Ready availability to primary care physicians
  • Low infant mortality rate
  • In the past 2 years, physical inactivity decreased by 11 percent from 23.5 percent to 21.0 percent of adults.
  • In the past 2 years, immunization coverage among children increased by 11 percent from 70.7 percent to 78.5 percent of children aged 19 to 35 months.
  • In the past 5 years, preventable hospitalizations decreased by 20 percent from 78.7 to 62.7 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries.
  • In the past 2 years, drug deaths decreased by 9 percent from 13.3 to 12.1 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Since 1990, premature death decreased by 27 percent from 7,270 to 5,345 years lost per 100,000 population. Massachusetts has the lowest rate of premature death among states.

Areas that need to be worked on include:

  • High prevalence of binge drinking
  • High rate of preventable hospitalizations
  • Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

For the full report, click here.

Among all of the measures that were taken into account, Massachusetts ranked #1 in several areas including: dentists, infant mortality, lack of health insurance, occupational fatalities, premature deaths, and primary care physicians.

With such a strong emphasis on higher education and health care, it is no surprise that Massachusetts ranked so highly on the healthiest state list. If you are a resident of Massachusetts you have access to some of the best education and hospitals in the world. If you are looking for a new state to call home, consider Massachusetts or one of the other wonderful New England states on the list!

Image courtesy of [Arvind Balaraman] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net