In a country where we’re used to hearing about everything we do wrong, it’s about time the U.S. of A gets some cred for the healthy steps we’re taking. In 2013, America (overall) improved by two-thirds compared to the 2012 America’s Health Rankings—the state-assessed health rankings researched and published collaboratively by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention.
The rankings, which help to determine the healthiest U.S. states, are based on four distinct categories:
- Concrete health measures and clinical care factors—such as rates of cancer and diabetes.
- Lifestyle factors and behaviors—including obesity, smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, and others.
- Quality-of-life indicators—like graduation and poverty rates, air pollution, and violent crime.
- In addition to the state’s specific Health Policies
10. New Jersey
New Jersey takes the 10th spot in healthiest US states in the nation—especially when you plot them against their neighboring state of New York, which only ranked 18. Even though 25-percent of New Jersey adults are physically inactive, which explains why rates of obesity and diabetes have increased; folks across the state are breathing better with air pollution lower by 37 percent over the past five years. Now residents of the state just have to work on their smoking, with 3-percent more people in the state lighting up compared to last year.