The Healthiest State in America Is…

Americans are growing more obese and exercising less, according to a new report examining the health of our nation.

The 2014 America’s Health Rankings, released today, shows that the U.S. obesity rate increased from 27.6 percent to 29.4 percent of adults in the past year. In addition, the percentage of adults who said they hadn’t done any physical activity in the last 30 days increased, going from 22.9 percent to 23.5 percent in the past year.

However, there were improvements made in a number of other health-related measures, including:

  • 3 percent decrease in smoking (19.6 percent to 19 percent of adults over the past year).
  • 5 percent increase in teen immunization coverage (64 percent to 67.1 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 over the past year).
  • 10 percent increase in high school graduation rates (73.4 precent to 81 percent of incoming ninth graders over the past five years).
  • 22 percent decrease in preventable hospitalizations (80.6 hospitalizations per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries to 62.9 hospitalizations per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries, over the last 10 years).
  • 23 percent decrease in air pollution (12.8 micrograms of fine particulars per cubic meter, to 9.9 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter, over the last 10 years).
  • 41 percent decrease in infant mortality (10.2 deaths for every 1,000 live births to 6 deaths for every 1,000 live births since 1990).

The report, which is published every year by the United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, is based on data from the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Department of Education, and other agencies and organizations.

In addition to providing a picture of overall U.S. health, the report also provided snapshots of health by state. The states that scored the lowest in the rankings were Mississippi, which scored 50th; Arkansas, which scored 49th; Louisiana, which scored 48th; and Kentucky, which scored 47th.

But what are the
healthiest states in the ranking? Find out if your state made the top 10 in the slideshow.

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