These are the healthiest and least healthy states in America

Faith Castro
December 13, 2017

The United Health Foundation's annual USA health rankings do more than just rank our 50 states by where the most fit people live.

This year, MA moved up from last year's No. 2 spot thanks to the low percentage of uninsured people here, the low prevalence of obesity and high vaccination rates.

The rate of drug deaths increased in New Hampshire by 118 percent, in MA by 69 percent, and in Rhode Island by 56 percent. Oklahoma also had improvements in obesity rates, the number of people who are physically active, and drug deaths, but still ranks well below the national average.

MA ranked the healthiest state for the first time in the ranking's 28-year history. The report serves as a benchmark for states - and the nation - to measure progress, identify emerging trends, and drive action for improving public health.

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MA ranked as the nation's healthiest state for the first time ever, which may be explained in part by the high concentration of healthcare providers. In Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, the authors noted a large increase in drug-related deaths.

For the 28th year in a row, the United Health Foundation has ranked America's states based on factors including obesity, air pollution, and poverty.

'This report serves as an important tool for health care professionals, policymakers and communities in their collaborative efforts to address these challenges, and help build healthier communities across the nation, ' said Rhonda Randall, D.O., senior adviser to United Health Foundation, and chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions. The most recent report reveals the nation's serious public health problems, such as increases in premature death and disproportionate concentration of health care providers, according to the report's executive summary.

The least healthy state: Mississippi.

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