The unhealthiest states in the country all lie in the southeast US.
For the 27th year in a row, the United Health Foundation has ranked America’s states based on factors including obesity, air pollution, and poverty. Hawaii made the top of the list as America’s healthiest state, while Mississippi was declared the unhealthiest.
Here’s a map, with the healthiest states in light blue and the least healthy in dark blue.
- United Health Foundation
Looking at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and the Census bureau, the rankings took into account everything from obesity and smoking to community and environmental factors, such as child poverty and air pollution, to public policies like immunizations, and health outcomes like cancer deaths and diabetes.
“We are at a critical crossroads,” when it comes to our health, Dr. Reed Tuckson, a medical advisor to UHF told Business Insider.
Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Vermont were the top five healthiest states. Tuckson said the key thing for all these states is that they took a comprehensive approach to disease prevention and health promotion.
For the first time ever, cardiovascular death rates increased across the nation. For the past 27, the report notes, the cardiovascular death rates had been decreasing. And obesity is 157% more prevalent in 2016 than it was in 1990. Tuckson said it was important to note the relationships between health and socioeconomic status among the states that ranked the lowest.
Here’s the list of the 10 unhealthiest states, according to the report.
41. Georgia has some the highest child poverty rates, and a relatively low percentage of insured people. Over the last 15 years, the report notes, child poverty in Georgia has increased 75%.
- Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
42. South Carolina has a fairly high infectious disease rate and at the same time has low teen vaccination rates.
- Joe Raedle / Getty Images
43. West Virginia has a high prevalence of diabetes, mental distress, and drug deaths, though it also one of the most insured populations in the country.
- Paul Corbit Brown
44. Tennessee has among the highest violent crime rates, along with the lowest HPV immunization rates for men in the country. The state also has a high prevalence of smoking.
45. Kentucky has a high prevalence of smoking, along with a high rate of cancer deaths.
- Flickr/Jeff Turner
46. Oklahoma has a high smoking prevalence and high cardiovascular death rate.
47. Alabama has a high prevalence of smoking. Over the past year in the state, physical inactivity has increased, along with deaths from drugs.
- Flickr/Alby Headrick
48. Arkansas has a high prevalence of obesity and smoking. The state also has the fewest dentists per 100,000 people of 50 states.
49. Louisiana, which ranked last in 2015, has high rates of obesity and infant mortality. Since 1990, its overall rank has always stayed near the bottom compared to the other 50 states
50. Mississippi ranks as the most physically inactive state, and has a high smoking prevalence, though on the positive side, the state has a low violent crime rate.