Do You Live in The Healthiest State in America?
December 23, 2006
Minnesota has been named the healthiest state, for the fourth consecutive year, in the United Health Foundation's annual report. Each state was ranked on 20 key measures of wellness, from cancer to car accidents.
Minnesota's score is 21 percent higher than the national average, has the country's lowest uninsured rate (8.4 percent), and has low infant mortality and child poverty rates.
State Governor Tim Pawlenty credited a state health insurance program for the working poor, social safety-net programs for children, the state's health-conscious culture and a low unemployment rate.
Louisiana, with high rates of obesity, child poverty, infant mortality and overall premature death, ranked as the unhealthiest state. Overall, the nation's health is not improving, and the country is no healthier today than it was in 2000. Several key problems are responsible, including obesity, tobacco use and the large number of uninsured.
The number of uninsured Americans has increased from 13.4 percent to 15.9 percent since 2000, and in a list of 36 nations, the United States shares last place for infant mortality rates with countries such as Cuba and Croatia.