US State Health Rankings 2013: Hawaii Tops List, Find Out Where Your State Stands [FULL LIST]


Let’s all give ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back, because according to an annual measurement of the U.S.’s overall health, Americans made healthier living choices in 2013. The report, released Wednesday, shows that Americans improved in more than two-thirds of the health factors measured, including getting our butts off the couch more often.

Every year for the past two decades, the United Health Foundation, in partnership with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, puts a finger to the collective American pulse. The yearly checkout helps lawmakers and individuals better understand the health of communities across the country. The various factors they measure include smoking, obesity, high school graduation rates, children in poverty, binge drinking, incidence of preventable diseases and access to care. The report also measures certain quality-of-life indicators like violent crime and air pollution.

Each state is given a score, calculated by subtracting the national mean from the state value and dividing by the standard deviation of all state values. States whose scores were close to zero, like Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s, were closest to the national averages for the factors measured. States whose scores were positive and farther from zero scored as “healthier” on the index.  

Overall, in 2013, Americans exercised more, smoked less and, for the first time since 1998, did not put on weight.

"We are encouraged,” Reed Tuckson, senior medical adviser to the not-for-profit United Health Foundation, which sponsors the report with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, told USA Today. "We're seeing it all across America -- individuals and families are making the decision to be active, to eat a more appropriate diet, to stop smoking. We are seeing that people can do it. And we are encouraged by the work in communities to address these issues that compromise America's health and vitality.”

That’s not to say we’ve broken all our bad habits. While obesity rates leveled off compared with previous years, diabetes continues to increasingly affect adults. The chronic condition diminishes the health of nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population -- about double the rate in the mid-1990s.

And compared to the international community, we’re still one of the least healthy countries in the world. According to a January  2013 study from the Institute of Medicine, when compared to other high-income countries, the U.S. fails in at least nine areas of health, including infant mortality, injuries and homicides, heart disease and chronic lung disease. We also have the lowest average lifespan for males and the second-lowest average lifespan for women out of 17 high-income countries.

Here is the complete list of states from healthiest state in the Union (Hawaii) to least healthiest (Mississippi). See where your state falls on the list.

1. Hawaii 0.919

2. Vermont 0.868

3. Minnesota 0.731

4. Massachusetts 0.725

5. New Hampshire 0.703

6. Utah 0.695

7. Connecticut 0.649

8. Colorado 0.565

9. North Dakota 0.557

10. New Jersey 0.531

11. Nebraska 0.460

12. Idaho 0.442

13. Oregon 0.426

14. Washington 0.403

15. New York 0.370

16. Maine 0.366

17. Wyoming 0.355

18. Iowa 0.317

19. Rhode Island 0.317

20. Wisconsin 0.313

21. California 0.310

22. South Dakota 0.284

23. Montana 0.277

24. Maryland 0.276

25. Alaska 0.275

26. Virginia 0.259

27. Kansas 0.122

28. Arizona 0.020

29. Pennsylvania -0.022

30. Illinois -0.096

31. Delaware -0.097

32. New Mexico -0.175

33. Florida -0.210

34. Michigan -0.218

35. North Carolina -0.247

36. Texas -0.250

37. Nevada -0.294

38. Georgia -0.315

39. Missouri -0.373

40. Ohio -0.407

41. Indiana -0.487

42. Tennessee -0.579

43. South Carolina -0.635

44. Oklahoma -0.666

45. Kentucky -0.716

46. West Virginia -0.727

47. Alabama -0.822

48. Louisiana -0.844

49. Arkansas -0.893

50. Mississippi -0.894

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