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Most and least healthy states in America

  • #40. Georgia

    - Cancer deaths: 194.8 per 100,000 people (#21 worst of all states; 2.9% below national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 16.1% of adults (#12 best; 11.5% above national average)
    - Drug deaths: 13.6 per 100,000 people (#13 best; 29.2% above national average)
    - Infant mortality: 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births (#8 worst; 27.6% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $76 per person (#15 worst; 12.6% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Drug deaths
    - Least healthy trait: Uninsured (13.6% of people; #3 worst; 54.5% above national average)

    Low immunization rates and a high level of uninsured residents are continuing challenges for Georgia. The state offers a large amount of programs for those struggling with insurance, ranging from tuberculosis control to emergency medical services. Although Georgia's most healthy trait is a low level of drug deaths, methamphetamine overdoses have increased every year since 2010.

  • #39. Missouri

    - Cancer deaths: 206.3 per 100,000 people (#12 worst of all states; 9.0% below national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 19.2% of adults (#14 worst; 5.5% below national average)
    - Drug deaths: 21.1 per 100,000 people (#21 worst; 9.9% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 6.4 deaths per 1,000 live births (#18 worst; 10.3% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $57 per person (#7 worst; 34.5% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Air pollution (7.5 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter; #23 worst; 10.7% below national average)
    - Least healthy trait: Public health funding

    Missouri continually struggles with a high rate of violent crime and increasing cancer deaths, excessive drinking, and low birthweight. The state offers little in the way of public health funding, but programs available provide aid to seniors, women, and children.

  • #38. Ohio

    - Cancer deaths: 210.9 per 100,000 people (#8 worst of all states; 11.4% below national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 17% of adults (#18 best; 6.6% above national average)
    - Drug deaths: 37.3 per 100,000 people (#2 worst; 94.3% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births (#10 worst; 25.9% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $53 per person (#4 worst; 39.1% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Uninsured (6.3% of people; #16 best; 28.4% below national average)
    - Least healthy trait: Drug deaths

    Ohio faces a serious drug problem. In response, the state has developed a Community Overdose Action Team focused on reducing drug deaths and tackling opiate addiction.

  • #37. New Mexico

    - Cancer deaths: 170 per 100,000 people (#7 best of all states; 10.2% above national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 15.7% of adults (#8 best; 13.7% above national average)
    - Drug deaths: 24.7 per 100,000 people (#12 worst; 28.6% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births (#23 worst; 5.2% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $220 per person (#2 best; 152.9% above national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Public health funding
    - Least healthy trait: Violent crime (857 offenses per 100,000 people; #2 worst; 124.9% above national average)

    In 2017, FBI reports showed that even though the national violent crime average is decreasing, it continues to rise in New Mexico. The state does provide a comprehensive and well-funded public health system, including access to medical marijuana.

  • #36. North Carolina

    - Cancer deaths: 196.1 per 100,000 people (#19 worst of all states; 3.6% below national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 16.4% of adults (#13 best; 9.9% above national average)
    - Drug deaths: 19.5 per 100,000 people (#25 worst; 1.6% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 7.1 deaths per 1,000 live births (#12 worst; 22.4% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $59 per person (#9 worst; 32.2% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Air pollution (7.2 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter; #22 best; 14.3% below national average)
    - Least healthy trait: Salmonella (23.7 cases per 100,000 people; #6 worst; 41.9% above national average)

    Although North Carolina doesn't offer much in the way of public health funding compared to the rest of the U.S., what is available is relatively comprehensive. Meanwhile, the state continues to battle with increasing drug use, premature death rates, and high obesity levels.

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  • #35. Nevada

    - Cancer deaths: 189.7 per 100,000 people (#23 best of all states; 0.2% below national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 17% of adults (#18 best; 6.6% above national average)
    - Drug deaths: 22.1 per 100,000 people (#18 worst; 15.1% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births (#21 best; 0.0% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $46 per person (#1 worst; 47.1% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Salmonella (7.1 cases per 100,000 people; #2 best; 57.5% below national average)
    - Least healthy trait: Public health funding

    For all of the glitz and glamour found on the Las Vegas strip, Nevada has the lowest level of per capita public health funding. The state is also facing a low tally of primary care physicians and an increase in premature deaths.

  • #34. Texas

    - Cancer deaths: 180.3 per 100,000 people (#11 best of all states; 4.8% above national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 18.7% of adults (#18 worst; 2.7% below national average)
    - Drug deaths: 10.3 per 100,000 people (#4 best; 46.4% above national average)
    - Infant mortality: 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births (#21 best; 0.0% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $60 per person (#11 worst; 31.0% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Drug deaths
    - Least healthy trait: Uninsured (17.5% of people; #1 worst; 98.9% above national average)

    Although Texas enjoys low rates of drug and cancer deaths, plus a decreasing rate of smokers, the state still suffers from a large uninsured population and decreasing immunization rates. In addition, both heart-related deaths and mental distress have seen been trending in the wrong direction.

  • #33. Florida

    - Cancer deaths: 181.1 per 100,000 people (#13 best of all states; 4.3% above national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 18.2% of adults (#25 worst; 0.0% below national average)
    - Drug deaths: 21.4 per 100,000 people (#19 worst; 11.5% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births (#23 worst; 5.2% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $64 per person (#12 worst; 26.4% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Air pollution (7.4 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter; #25 best; 11.9% below national average)
    - Least healthy trait: Salmonella (31.3 cases per 100,000 people; #2 worst; 87.4% above national average)

    Obesity and uninsured residents continually cause headaches in Florida's health care scene. Luckily, violent crime is decreasing (down 44% over the last decade), and the cancer death rate remains low and is getting lower. Still, the American Cancer Society estimates 45,000 Floridians will die from cancer in 2020.

  • #32. Michigan

    - Cancer deaths: 200.9 per 100,000 people (#15 worst of all states; 6.1% below national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 19.5% of adults (#12 worst; 7.1% below national average)
    - Drug deaths: 23.9 per 100,000 people (#14 worst; 24.5% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births (#15 worst; 13.8% below national average)
    - Public health funding: $58 per person (#8 worst; 33.3% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Uninsured (5.3% of people; #7 best; 39.8% below national average)
    - Least healthy trait: Public health funding

    Over the past five years, the smoking rate in Michigan has reduced by about 17%, although in 2017, the rate of high school-age smokers was almost 2% higher than the national average. Premature deaths, however, have increased over the past four years.

  • #31. Arizona

    - Cancer deaths: 168.5 per 100,000 people (#4 best of all states; 11.0% above national average)
    - Excessive drinking: 17.2% of adults (#21 best; 5.5% above national average)
    - Drug deaths: 20.8 per 100,000 people (#22 worst; 8.3% below national average)
    - Infant mortality: 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births (#16 best; 3.4% above national average)
    - Public health funding: $53 per person (#4 worst; 39.1% below national average)
    - Most healthy trait: Preventable hospitalizations (36.1 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees; #8 best; 26.9% below national average)
    - Least healthy trait: Mental health providers (132.9 per 100,000 people; #4 worst; 46.3% below national average)

    Arizona's public health offerings are sparse outside of a series of programs designed to prevent disease and spread awareness about potential medical issues. The state does have one of the lowest cancer death rates in the country, and child poverty is decreasing.

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