America's healthiest, unhealthiest states for 2021

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Louisiana ranked lowest in three of the five categories assessed in the UnitedHealth Foundation's 2021 "America's Health Rankings" report

The report is the longest-running annual assessment of the nation's health on a state-by-state basis. The latest report examines 81 measures from 30 data sources to understand the impact social, economic, environmental and other factors have on health. This year's report includes data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The pandemic has shown us how important it is to have a strong public health infrastructure to continue to address the challenges we face," Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said in a news release. "It is my hope that we use this data to build a public health system that can work to protect all Americans and address health inequities."

Below are the five states that ranked highest and lowest for each of the categories evaluated for the 2021 report. 

5 states ranked highest for health outcomes
The health outcomes category represents what has already occurred regarding a population's physical and mental well-being. Measures in this category are behavioral health, mortality and physical health.

1. Massachusetts 

2. Hawaii

3. Connecticut

4. Idaho 

5. Vermont 

5 states ranked lowest for health outcomes 

1. Louisiana 

2. Alabama 

3. West Virginia

4. Kentucky 

5. Arkansas 

5 states ranked highest for clinical care 
The clinical care category represents access to quality healthcare and preventive services, such as primary care providers, immunizations and preventable hospitalizations.

1. Massachusetts 

2. Rhode Island

3. Vermont 

4. Connecticut

5. Hawaii

5 states ranked lowest for clinical care 

1. Texas

2. Mississippi 

3. Georgia

4. Oklahoma

5. Florida 

5 states ranked highest for social and economic factors
The social and economic factors category represents the broader impact society and the economy have on an individual or community's ability to make healthy choices. Measures in this category are community and family safety, economic resources, education, and social support and engagement.

1. New Hampshire 

2. Minnesota

3. New Jersey

4. Hawaii 

5. Utah 

5 states ranked lowest for social and economic factors 

1. Louisiana 

2. New Mexico

3. Arkansas

4. West Virginia

5. Mississippi 

5 states ranked highest for physical environment
The physical environment category represents where individuals live, work and play, and their interaction with this space. Measures in this category are air and water quality, climate change, and housing and transit.

1. North Dakota 

2. South Dakota

3. Wyoming

4. Maryland

5. Virginia 

5 states ranked lowest for physical environment 

1. New Jersey 

2. California

3. Pennsylvania

4. Oregon 

5. Louisiana 

5 states ranked highest for health behaviors
The health behaviors category represents actions that influence health and have individual, community, system and policy components. Measures in this category are sleep health, physical activity and nutrition, sexual health, and tobacco use. 

1. Vermont

2. Utah

3. Minnesota

4. New Hampshire

5. Colorado 

5 states ranked lowest for health behaviors 

1. Louisiana 

2. Mississippi

3. Kentucky 

4. Alabama 

5. Arkansas 

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