New Hampshire was once again the healthiest state, a position it has held for 6 out of the past 13 years, followed by:
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:
- South Carolina
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 www.unitedhealthfoundation.org .