Vermont ranked #2 healthiest state after Hawaii

News Release: Vermont Department of Health
December 11, 2013

Media Contact:
Vermont Department of Health
Communication Office

How Healthy Are We? Vermont Ranked #2 Healthiest State after the New #1, Hawaii

America’s Health Rankings measures the health of the population

BURLINGTON – Vermont, long ranked the #1 healthiest state, dropped to second place after Hawaii in the America’s Health Rankings 2013 report released today by the United Health Foundation.

“We can take pride that our state continues to be one of the healthiest places to live, while we keep working to overcome our challenges,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “Tracking and reporting on our health is one of the important jobs of public health because we can’t improve what we don’t measure.”

Vermont was recognized for being among the healthiest states over the last decade, with the highest rate of high school graduation (91.4%), second lowest rate of violent crime (14.3 offenses per 100,000 population), second lowest percentage of people who lack health insurance (7.8%), and second lowest rate of premature death.

Vermont ranked among the top five states on a number of measures, including obesity (23.7%), physical inactivity (17.2%), diabetes (7.3%), and supply of primary care physicians (170 per 100,000 people).

Lower childhood immunization rates (ranked 45th), a statewide outbreak of whooping cough (ranked 47th), and a greater prevalence of high-risk or binge drinking (ranked 41st) are challenges highlighted in the report.

While smoking rates have dropped, 16.5 percent of Vermonters smoke, compared to 10.6 percent of Hawaiians.

Vermont ranked first overall for 22 determinants of health (behaviors, community & environment, policy, and clinical care). Hawaii ranked second for determinants and first for health outcomes to achieve the top ranking. For the full report and interactive map of the rankings:

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  • Bob Stannard

    We should be back up to #1 quickly; as soon as the radiation released from Fukushima kicks in.

  • Keith Stern

    We should be the healthiest in the nation by far as soon as Shumlincare is implemented.

  • Tony Redington

    How do we compare to Quebec and New Brunswick–that is the question.

    • Karl Riemer

      excellent question!
      For one thing, I’d be healthier immediately if I lived in Hawaii, but over the long haul I might get better care in PQ. For systemic reasons, neither compares precisely to Vermont.

  • Karl Riemer

    “we can’t improve what we don’t measure”
    is an absolutely false statement. If the means of improvement are known and applied, improvement is exactly as likely, to exactly the same degree, whether or not that improvement is quantified. Quantitative information is useful in understanding and interpreting reality, but it is not reality. Statistics about us exist because we exist, not the other way around, so, after statistics have helped inform us, our actions and the result of those actions exist regardless of statistics.

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