Massachusetts Was Ranked the Third Healthiest State in the Nation

Three New England states made the top five.

Photo by Greg Dubois

Photo by Greg Dubois

Want to be healthier? Move to the Northeast!

America’s Health Rankings, part of United Health Foundation, just released its 25th annual health rankings report, and the Bay State was ranked the third healthiest state in the nation this year, which is an amazing feat—yet not shocking at all. What is shocking, however, is that three New England states made into in the top five. Sorry, California, your perpetual sunshine has nothing on our frozen soil.

The top spot went to Hawaii, followed by Vermont, then Massachusetts—which improved to third after being ranked fourth for the past two years. Connecticut came in fourth, moving up three slots from last year. Utah rounded out the top five.

A few of the reasons why the Commonwealth was ranked so highly this year included: a low percentage of uninsured population; the ample amount of primary care physicians; and a low infant mortality rate.

Other state highlights include:

  • In the past 2 years, physical inactivity decreased by 11 percent from 23.5 percent to 21.0 percent of adults.
  • In the past 2 years, immunization coverage among children increased by 11 percent from 70.7 percent to 78.5 percent of children aged 19 to 35 months.
  • In the past 5 years, preventable hospitalizations decreased by 20 percent from 78.7 to 62.7 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries.
  • In the past 2 years, drug deaths decreased by 9 percent from 13.3 to 12.1 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Since 1990, premature death decreased by 27 percent from 7,270 to 5,345 years lost per 100,000 population.
  • Massachusetts has the lowest rate of premature death among states.

It wasn’t all good news, however. Massachusetts was cited as having a “high prevalence of binge drinking,” which is not surprising due to all of the colleges in and around the city. Our state was also reported to have a “high rate of preventable hospitalizations” and a “large disparity in health status by educational attainment.”

Clearly there are areas that we need to improve, but overall it’s safe to say that Massachusetts is an amazing place to live.