In this article, we will be taking a look at the 25 most health-conscious states in the U.S. If you wish to see the top ones, head straight to the 5 Most Health-Conscious States in the U.S.
According to the Commonwealth Fund, healthcare spending in the United States is much greater than in other high-income countries. However, it is the only developed country that doesn’t have universal health coverage. Most Americans receive their coverage from a combination of public programs, private insurance, and out-of-pocket payments.
Moreover, data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the country's average life expectancy has dropped to 76.4 years, the lowest level in almost two decades. Per the findings, the decrease in life expectancy was primarily caused by deaths from COVID-19 and drug overdoses, particularly those caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
In addition to a short life expectancy at birth, the U.S. struggles with a high prevalence of chronic illnesses, avoidable deaths, and obesity. Obesity, a medical condition in which a person has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more, is a growing concern in the country, with a prevalence of 41.9% in 2017-2020.
Numerous variables, including excessive eating, inactivity, heredity factors, metabolism, culture, and poor dietary choices contribute to obesity, which can have a negative impact on health. Osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer are just a few of the major health effects of carrying extra fat.
According to the CDC data, obesity rates in 41 U.S. states were more than 30% in 2021. At 25%, Hawaii had the lowest obesity rate, followed by Colorado and Massachusetts, each with 25.1% and 27.4% respectively.
Most and Least Healthy States in the U.S.
The 2022 America's Health Rankings (AHR) Annual Report by the United Health Foundation identified New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Utah, Maryland, Washington, and Colorado as the top healthiest states in the country, while Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Alabama were ranked as the least healthy.
For example, aside from having good healthcare system, Hawaii is known for its health-conscious residents, who engage in leisure-time physical activity, have healthy eating habits, and a low proportion of obesity. In a similar vein, residents of Colorado take pleasure in outdoor pursuits like hiking and generally pay attention to their health by consuming nutrient-dense foods. Besides, a high majority of Coloradans—about 93.5%—have health insurance, which is important because it enables people to access the medical and preventive care they need to attain and maintain good health.
On the contrary, in West Virginia a sizable proportion of adults don't exercise outside of their regular jobs, and it has the highest prevalence of adult obesity out of all 50 states, at 40.6%. Additionally, the state has one of the highest rates of heart disease-related deaths in the country (223 per 100,000 population).
Analysis of the health and wellness market and the upsurge of health consciousness in the United States
We reported previously that a survey conducted by Nutrisystem and OnePoll found that more than 70% of Americans were now more health-conscious post the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering how their weight had an impact on their immunity, more than 60% of the respondents were motivated to shed pounds.
Furthermore, a survey by McKinsey last year revealed rising US consumer interest in wellness across six domains: health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, and mindfulness. 50% of consumers reported wellness as a key priority in their daily lives (up significantly from 2020).
Meanwhile, a report by Allied Market Research estimates that the global health and wellness market was valued at $4.7 trillion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.9% from 2022 through 2031, reaching a value of $12.9 trillion at the end of the forecasted period. The increasing prevalence of physical and mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, are the main drivers of this growth. In 2021, North America dominated the global health and wellness market. Per the report, the region is anticipated to experience the fastest growth in the industry during the projected period.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, develops medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods. On July 20, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) posted earnings for the second quarter of 2023, reporting a Non-GAAP EPS of $2.80, beating market estimates by $0.18. The revenue over the period was $25.53 billion, up 6.4% compared to the revenue over the same period last year.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) is one of the largest consumer staples companies in the world. This June, VOOST, a vitamin brand owned by the company, announced the U.S. launch of VOOST Gummies, which deliver on four of the most popular benefits in the vitamins, minerals and supplements category, including Men’s and Women’s Multivitamins, Immunity and B12. The Gummies, fruit-flavored without a sugar coating, meet the changing health and wellness requirements of consumers. However, ironically, the company is also behind many cigarette brands.
Having said that, lets take a look at the most health-conscious states in the U.S.
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To compile the list of the most health-conscious states in the U.S., we initially consulted our first key metric, the United Health Foundation's 2022 America's Health Rankings (AHR) Annual Report to see the overall health of all 50 states in the country.
We then proceeded to assign a score to each state based on its ranking in the report, creating a list A. For instance, the #1 healthiest state in this report will get a score of 50/50=1, #2 healthiest state will get a score of 49/50=0.98 and so on.
We then looked up for our second key metric, obesity rates in all 50 states in 2021, with data courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the United States. The states were arranged in ascending order on the basis of their obesity rates, and the same scoring methodology was used to create a list B.
Please note that, due to insufficient data, the CDC was unable to provide the obesity rate for Florida. But Florida's Department of Health indicates a 28% obesity rate, so we used this figure.
The overall score for each state was calculated by adding up their individual scores in the aforementioned lists. Finally, we sorted the states by their overall scores and identified the 25 most health-conscious states in the U.S. When two states had the same overall scores, we used each state’s obesity rate as a tie-breaker.
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Most Health-Conscious States in the U.S.
Overall Score: 1.04
Nebraska, situated in the Midwestern region, is one of the most health-conscious states in the U.S. on our list. It is one of the eleven states where youth obesity rates are much lower than the national rate, according to the most recent data.
Overall Score: 1.10
Pennsylvania, classified as a Middle Atlantic state, is the tenth best state for healthcare, according to the 2023 Best States rankings from U.S. News.
In 2020, there were 328.5 active physicians per 100,000 population in the state of Pennsylvania.
Overall Score: 1.10
Arizona, bordering Mexico in the south, is one of the most health-conscious states in the U.S. Its adult smoking prevalence is the nineteenth lowest among the 50 states, at 14.9%.
Overall Score: 1.12
Montana is a mountainous, landlocked U.S. state. In order to maintain their physical and mental well-being, health-conscious Montanans frequently participate in activities like hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and canoeing.
Overall Score: 1.14
In 2021, 5.4% of the total population of Wisconsin, a midwestern U.S. state, was uninsured.
Overall Score: 1.16
Delaware, located mainly within the Atlantic Coastal Plain, is ranked twentieth in the nation for overall health, according to the 2022 America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation.
Overall Score: 1.22
Virginia, situated in the southeast region, is one of the most health-conscious states in the U.S. It has the eleventh-lowest percentage of adult smokers among the 50 states.
Overall Score: 1.30
Maryland is the fourth best state for healthcare, according to the 2023 U.S. News & World Report's annual Best States rankings.
Overall Score: 1.36
Idaho, located in the Pacific Northwest region, is one of the most health-conscious states in the U.S. on our list. In 2020, the state had the eleventh highest life expectancy in the nation, at 78.4 years.
16. New York
Overall Score: 1.40
The majority of adults in the New York State (72.8%) engage in regular leisure-time physical activity that enhances their physical and emotional well-being.
Aside from that, it had the ninth-lowest adult obesity rate (29.1%) among the 50 states in 2021.
Overall Score: 1.40
Florida, the 'Sunshine State', has a warm climate that provides an ideal outdoor physical activity environment, making it simpler for health-conscious people to engage in activities that can increase their fitness.
Overall Score: 1.42
Maine is the twelfth healthiest state in the U.S., according to the 2022 America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation.
Moreover, in 2020, there were 331.7 active physicians per 100,000 population in the state.
Overall Score: 1.46
Oregon is one of the most health conscious states in the U.S. Based on the results from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys for the years 2017-2020, it was among the top 5 most physically active states in the country.
Overall Score: 1.50
Minnesota was named the best state in the country for elderly care in a 2021 analysis by Medicare Guide based on cost, quality, and access.
The state also boasts a life expectancy of 79.1 years, third highest in the U.S.
Overall Score: 1.52
The "Golden State" of California is home to the second lowest percentage of adult smokers in the country, at 10%, according to CDC data from 2019.
Overall Score: 1.62
Utah is one of the most health-conscious states in the U.S. At 7.9%, it has the lowest adult smoking prevalence in the nation.
Additionally, Utah is the second most physically active state in the nation, according to the findings from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys for the years 2017-2020.
9. Rhode Island
Overall Score: 1.62
In 2021, around 96% of Rhode Islanders had health coverage, the fourth highest insured rate in the country.
8. New Jersey
Overall Score: 1.66
New Jersey, located in both the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions, is the eighth best state for healthcare, per the 2023 Best States rankings from U.S. News and World Report.
Besides, New Jersey residents have healthy eating habits, and the state is the third largest consumer of fruits and vegetables in the nation.
Overall Score: 1.72
Washington, one of the most health-conscious states, boasts the third most physically active population in the U.S.
Overall Score: 1.74
Connecticut has the fourth-lowest percentage of adult smokers among the 50 states.
Click to continue reading and see 5 Most Health-Conscious States in the U.S.
Disclosure: None. 25 Most Health-Conscious States in the U.S. is originally published on Insider Monkey.