Healthiest State in the US – Overview
Health is defined as having no form of injury or illness, to the mental and physical state of a person.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is a state of complete mental, physical and social well-being, and not just the absence of injuries or illnesses in a body.
Health is often subjective and different people interpret health differently. Some people focus more on weight, muscle mass or appearance in general.
Others may place more value on their mental well-being while some belief health to be the absence of medical diseases and disorders.
The United States ranks as one of the healthiest countries in the world.
The US healthcare spending is significantly the largest such expenditure in the entire world.
Surprisingly still, the US still struggles with the high prevalence of chronic health problems and preventable fatalities.
As with other things, the level of health and well-being is different in different states in the US.
Common Health Problems in the US
Let’s check out some common conditions and prevalent medical disorders in the US. The prevalence of obesity is among the biggest problems facing the US right now.
This causes millions of people to suffer from obesity-related conditions, such as heart diseases, stroke and type-2 diabetes.
According to the CTC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the prevalence of obesity in the US rose to an astonishing 42.4% in 2018, a significant rise from the 30.5% recorded in 2000.
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are ranked as the states with the largest obese population in the country. Diabetes is another major health concern which has grown to nearly 11% in 2018.
To achieve good health, leading an active lifestyle combined with healthy behavior is the perfect solution.
Still, there are several factors that can affect your health, such as financial income, lifestyle, culture, housing, community safety, education, employment, and environment.
As these factors vary greatly between different states, each state’s population has different average health levels.
Top 5 Healthiest States in the US
Now that you know the parameters for ranking, let’s check out our list of the healthiest states in the US. We have taken data from the 2020 America’s Health Rankings study conducted by the United Health Foundation (UHF):
1 – Vermont
Vermont ranks as the healthiest state in the US because the obesity rate here is only 26.6%, which is the 7th lowest in the country.
The number of smokers in the adult age is around 15.1% of the state’s population, which is the 21st lowest in the country.
Vermont citizens are known for being big on physical activities, with more than 80% of the state’s population doing regular physical exercise, making it the 7th highest in the country.
Vermont also has one of the largest public health funding in the US. On average, the state spends more than US$ 157 per person on programs aimed at promoting nutrition, exercise and similar healthy habits.
Apart from this, Vermont has an extensive healthcare provider network, with around 395 physicians for every 100,000 people, making it the second-highest figure in the entire country.
2 – Massachusetts
Massachusetts follows its neighbor, Vermont closely in terms of public health with a rank as the second-healthiest state in the US.
The state’s obesity rate is only 25.2%, the fourth-lowest rate in the country. The average household income for people in Massachusetts is around US$ 79,835, which is the fourth-highest among all states.
Thanks to the considerably better economic status, the state also has the lowest rate of residents without health insurance, just 0.3%. Massachusetts also has the highest concentration of primary care physicians in the country, with 247 physicians for every 100,000 residents.
3 – Hawaii
Hawaii ranks the third healthiest state in the US. The island-state is known for promoting good health through its numerous healthcare policies.
The state has an obesity rate of around 25%, which is the third-lowest in the country.
The average household income in Hawaii is around US$ 80,212, only slightly behind Massachusetts, with only 4.2% of Hawaiians having no active health insurance.
Hawaii state authorities spend US$ 205 per person for healthcare needs, which is only behind Mexico and Alaska in this spending. People in Hawaii are also significantly more active than in mainland USA.
4 – Connecticut
Connecticut has incredibly effective clinical care and health policies. The adolescent immunization rate in Connecticut is around 95.4%, the third-highest in the country.
The child immunization rate in the state is around 75.3%, which is the tenth-highest ranking in the US.
The state also has the fifth-largest average household income in America with US$ 76,348 as the median annual salary for citizens.
Besides this, Connecticut also has the fourth-lowest rate of premature deaths at 6,091 deaths per 100,000 residents.
The state also records the fourth-lowest smoking population at only 12.1% of adults confessing to being regular smokers.
The state registers an obesity rate of around 29.1%, making it the thirteenth-lowest in adult obesity in the United States.
5 – Utah
Utah ranks as the fifth healthiest state in the US. The state enjoys a lower rate of health determinants in several categories.
Adults living in Utah reportedly have the lowest rate of excessive drinking, with just 11.3%. The state also reports a significantly low population of smokers, with only 7.9% of adults admitting to being smokers.
Utah also enjoys the lowest physical inactivity rate in the entire country, with only 18.5% of residents reportedly not exercising regularly.
As the state has an average annual household income of US$ 71,414, its residents can afford better health insurance, healthier food and regular medical care.
Vermont ranks as the healthiest state in the United States in 2022. The state ranks high thanks to scoring incredibly good points in various health determinants, including lifestyle, obesity prevalence and others.
The state also has an incredibly effective healthcare infrastructure that provides its residents with optimal mental and physical medical care.
Besides Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut and Utah are the other top healthiest states in the US.