New Hampshire Again The Healthiest State

November 11, 2002 ( - New Hampshire ranks as the nation's healthiest state, while Louisiana ranks as the unhealthiest in a survey by The UnitedHealth Foundation and the American Public Health Association (APHA).

New Hampshire was once again the healthiest state, a position it has held for 6 out of the past 13 years, followed by:

  • Minnesota
  • Massachusetts
  • Utah
  • Connecticut

The study points to a number of factors that result in New Hampshire ranking so high:

  • Highest access to adequate prenatal care (85% of pregnant women have access)
  • Lowest level of infant mortality (3.8 deaths per 1,000 live births)
  • Highest support for public health care
  • Fewest limited activity days (due to pollution warnings)

The survey found in 2001 the number of uninsured Americans increased to 14.6% from 14.0% in 2000.   The overall healthiest state, New Hampshire reduced its uninsured population from 10.2% in 2000 to 9.4% in 2001.  

Iowa showed the lowest level of uninsured residents at 7.5%. Texas recorded the highest level of its population uninsured at 23.5%.

The overall healthiness of the nation, as measured by the national composite score, has improved 15.5% since 1990.   UnitedHealth said the primary reasons for the improvement are:  

  • 32% decline in infant mortality
  • 27% decline in the occurrence of infectious diseases
  • 23% decline in the number of children living in poverty
  • 22% decline in the number of regular smokers
  • 17% decline in violent crimes across the nation

Louisiana was ranked as the nation’s unhealthiest state for the third year in a row.   UnitedHealth cites the disparities of pregnant women receiving adequate prenatal health care among black women (67.7%), as opposed to white women (86.7%) as a major factor to its low position.   Others at the bottom of the overall list are:

  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma

UnitedHealth produces the yearly report to raise awareness among the American people of health issues in their state.   For more information or to obtain the full report, go to .