America’s Health Rankings measures the health of the population
News Release: December 11, 2013
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – Vermont, long ranked the #1 healthiest state, dropped to second place after Hawaii in the America’s Health Rankings 2013 report released today by the United Health Foundation.
“We can take pride that our state continues to be one of the healthiest places to live, while we keep working to overcome our challenges,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “Tracking and reporting on our health is one of the important jobs of public health because we can’t improve what we don’t measure.”
Vermont was recognized for being among the healthiest states over the last decade, with the highest rate of high school graduation (91.4%), second lowest rate of violent crime (14.3 offenses per 100,000 population), second lowest percentage of people who lack health insurance (7.8%), and second lowest rate of premature death.
Vermont ranked among the top five states on a number of measures, including obesity (23.7%), physical inactivity (17.2%), diabetes (7.3%), and supply of primary care physicians (170 per 100,000 people).
Lower childhood immunization rates (ranked 45th), a statewide outbreak of whooping cough (ranked 47th), and a greater prevalence of high-risk or binge drinking (ranked 41st) are challenges highlighted in the report.
While smoking rates have dropped, 16.5 percent of Vermonters smoke, compared to 10.6 percent of Hawaiians.
Vermont ranked first overall for 22 determinants of health (behaviors, community & environment, policy, and clinical care). Hawaii ranked second for determinants and first for health outcomes to achieve the top ranking. For the full report and interactive map of the rankings: www.americashealthrankings.org
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