Feature

Massachusetts named healthiest state for 2017


 

A year of surprises ended with one more bit of unexpected news: Massachusetts, not Hawaii, is the healthiest state in the country, according to the annual “America’s Heath Rankings” report.

Massachusetts’ win may have knocked Hawaii out of the top spot for the first time since 2011, but the Aloha State was still second out of 50 in 2017. Two other New England states were in the top five: Vermont in third and Connecticut in fifth, with Utah sandwiched between them in fourth, the United Health Foundation said in its latest report.

'America's Health Rankings' for 2017 go from Mass. to Miss.
For 2017, the anti-Massachusetts was Mississippi, which finished 50th for the second consecutive year and has never finished out of the bottom three in the 28 years of the rankings’ existence. The other states with the “most significant areas of opportunity for improvement in health and well-being” were Louisiana (ranked 49th), Arkansas (48th), Alabama (47th), and West Virginia (46th), the report said.

The report ranks states using 35 measures in five broad areas: behaviors, community and environment, policy, clinical care, and outcomes. The measures include drug-related death rate, percentage of children in poverty, public health funding per person, mental health provider rate, and diabetes rate.

“America’s Health Rankings” is funded entirely by the private, not-for-profit United Health Foundation, founded by UnitedHealth Group, which operates UnitedHealthcare.

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