We are the second healthiest state in the nation

Massachusetts move up from 3rd place to 2nd according to American Health Rankings
Less uninsured, less obesity but we still have a binge drinking problem

By Walter Brooks

As Christine Roman's new bestseller says, "smart is the new rich", at least here in the Bay State where according to the just released ranking comparing all fifty states for physical health by American Health Rankings, Massachusetts is #2 in the country. Vermont is #1.

Certainly a strong contributing factor is that Massachusetts ranks as the 3rd best state in education (Arizona is least educated and Vermont and Connecticut are #1 and #2).

As one-time Massachusetts US Senator, Congressman and Governor Edward Everett said, "Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army".

Based on the health report's criteria including the percentage of residents with health insurance coverage and weight, Massachusetts is among the top 10 states on 12 of the 22 measures and moved up from 3rd place last year.

Our strengths: 

  • Low rate of population without health insurance
  • Lower prevalence of obesity than most other states
  • Ready availability of primary care physicians
  • Low infant mortality rate

Our challenges:

  • High prevalence of binge drinking
  • High rate of preventable hospitalizations

Massachusetts ranked among the top 10 states on 12 of the 22 measures which included the fact that only 15 percent of Bay Staters still smoke, 22 percent of the population is obese, and an occupational fatalities rate at 3.0 deaths per 100,000 workers.

In addition the reports pointed out we have the nation's lowest percentage of uninsured which dropped another 1/2 percent in the past year, and now only 5 percent of the state population in uninsured for health. We also have a high immunization coverage of 93 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months.

Massachusetts boasts 191 primary care physicians per 100,000 population, and a low infant mortality rate at 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.

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