America's Health: State Health Rankings, 2003 Edition

America's Health: State Health Rankings, 2003 Edition

The United Health Foundation, together with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, has released the 2003 edition of America's Health: State Health Rankings, (115 pages, PDF), an annual analysis of the general health of the American populace. According to the report, the nation's overall health has improved by nearly 17 percent since 1990, due in part to sharp declines in motor vehicle deaths and infectious disease. The report draws on information from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor; the National Safety Council; and other health organizations to provide information on the health of the nation as well as individual states. Based on criteria such as prevalence of smoking, infant mortality, and support for public health infrastructure, Minnesota and New Hampshire top the rankings as the country's healthiest states, followed by Utah (3), Vermont (4), and Massachusetts (5); the least healthy state is Mississippi (50), preceded by Louisiana (49), South Carolina (48), Arkansas (47) and Tennessee (46).