Minnesota Ranks As 4th Healthiest State in U.S.

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Second Year to rank among the top 5 States

St. Paul, MN – America’s Health Rankings Annual Report rates Minnesota the fourth healthiest state in the nation.

The Minnesota-based United Health Foundation has released the 2016 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. As outlined on their website, the report analyzes data from four categories of health determinants to conclude the overall health rating of a state.

For the second consecutive year, Minnesota finds itself in the 4th place spot.  

Minnesota exceeds the national average in the majority of health determinants evaluated in the study. One health measure Minnesota leads the country in is low percentage of children in poverty. In 2016, only 8% of those 18 and under were living in households below the poverty level. Not only is that down from the 11.9% found in 2015, but it also falls significantly below the national average of 19.7% of persons under the age of 18 living in poverty.

Low drug deaths is another significant contributing factor to Minnesota’s positive score. In 2016, Minnesota had 9.3 drug-related deaths per 100,000 population, which is below the national average 14.0 deaths per 100,000 population. However, it is a steady increase from 7.1 deaths per 100,000 population five years prior. This increase mirrors a rise on the national stage with drug deaths increasing 9% per 100,000 population since 2011.

While Minnesota stays above the national average in multiple areas, excessive drinking is one of the biggest health challenges to Minnesotans. The state falls in 45th place with 21.1% of adults admitting to binge drinking or chronic drinking. Adults 18-44 years of age seem to suffer worst from this health determinant.

Ranking above Minnesota with the top spot is Hawaii, which has topped the list for 5 consecutive years. Massachusetts comes in second, and Connecticut follows in third. The neighbor with the closest score is North Dakota, ranking 11th overall.

Christine Bauman