- Department of Public Health
Media Contact for Massachusetts Named Healthiest State in the Nation
Ann Scales, Communications
Boston — Massachusetts is the healthiest state in the nation, according to America’s Health Rankings 28thannual report released today. Among the state’s strengths are its low percentage of uninsured people, low prevalence of obesity, and high vaccination rates. The 2017 report also ranked Massachusetts No. 1 for the health of women and children.
“This report highlights the notable progress that our state is making to improve the health and well-being of every individual living in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts is proud to have the lowest number of uninsured residents in the country and robust public health efforts, and our administration will keep working across all levels of government to ensure quality health care and a safe, healthy environment for our residents to live, work and play.”
The 2017 report analyzed 35 measures covering behaviors, community and environment, policy, clinical care and outcomes data. The report serves as a benchmark for states – and the nation – to measure progress, identify emerging trends, and drive action for improving public health. Last year, Massachusetts ranked No. 2, behind Hawaii.
“This year’s findings demonstrate that our focus on improving health outcomes is making a real difference in the lives of Massachusetts families and communities,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. ``Today’s news is a testament to the hard work and dedication of many people working across state and local government, health care providers and at the community grassroots level to make Massachusetts healthier.”
Among other categories in which Massachusetts was ranked No.1 were:
- Immunizations of children ages 19 to 35 months
- Immunization of adolescents ages 13 to 17 years with Tdap vaccine, a combination vaccine that protects against three serious and even potentially life-threatening bacterial diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
- The percentage of the population that is uninsured
- The number of dentists per 100,000 people
- The number of mental health providers per 100,000 people
``The rankings are an important indicator of the significant progress we’ve made in critical public health areas, such as tobacco control, increasing vaccination rates and reducing obesity,’’ said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. ``We will continue to strive to address persistent health disparities and create conditions which allow all of us to live long, healthy lives.’’
Other good news for Massachusetts contained in the report included:
- In the past five years, smoking decreased 25 percent from 18.2 percent to 13.6 percent of adults
- In the past five years, cancer deaths decreased 4 percent from 190.3 to 183.6 deaths per 100,000 people
- In the past 10 years, air pollution decreased 41 percent from 10.5 to 6.2 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter
America’s Health Rankings, the longest-running assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis, is the product of a partnership between United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association.