Massachusetts is the healthiest state in the United States, as per a new report from the United Health Foundation.
The foundation looks at both the healthy and unhealthy habits of people across the country.
The annual report for 2017 looked at different factors that affect the health of people, which includes drug deaths, low birth weight, physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, as well as environmental conditions such as air pollution. The report takes into account the number of mental health providers, dentists, and doctors per 100,000 people in their state.
The Healthiest And Unhealthiest States
This is the first time that the Bay State has been named the healthiest state, ending the five-year reign of Hawaii.
Massachusetts got the honor due to its high number of mental health providers, low prevalence of obesity, and the lowest percent of uninsured residents, with a number of just 2.7 percent of the population.
The 49th and 50th spots were filled by Mississippi and Louisiana, respectively. They have been found to have a high prevalence of children in poverty, obesity, and smoking. Utah and Florida had the largest improvements in the rankings since the 2016 report. Both the states rose up 4 places, with Utah rising to number 4 and Florida to number 32.
Utah had improved rates of immunization among young children and improved air quality. The improvements in Florida saw positive changes in the frequency of mental distress and the percentage of children living in poverty last year.
North Dakota saw the largest rank decline in the annual report, the state fell seven places to rank at number 18 due to its decline in immunization for children and higher rates of salmonella and smoking.
Report Shows Overall Health In The United States Is Getting Worse
The country’s premature death rate has increased 3 percent since 2015, according to the report. The increase can be attributed to drug deaths that have seen a 7 percent increase and cardiovascular deaths that went up by 2 percent. The increase in premature death rate makes the United States rank 27th in terms of life expectancy, as compared to 35 other countries.
"We're failing in our fundamental task to be a healthier nation," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, who is the executive director of the American Public Health Association. "We're spending more on health care and we die sooner. We need to do a timeout and figure out how to do this better."