Minnesota is third-healthiest state, says America's Health Rankings

Cyclists along Minneapolis's Midtown Greenway.
Cyclists along Minneapolis's Midtown Greenway.

Out of all 50 states, Minnesota was the third-healthiest in 2013. This past year, Minnesotans had the fewest days of poor physical health, fewest heart-related deaths, and lowest number of years lost to early death.

So says the latest edition of America's Health Rankings, a comprehensive index that reviews big chunks of data to determine health outcomes in each state every year.

See Also:
- Twin Cities rated the most healthy and fit metro for the third year in a row [GRAPHIC]

While we earned top marks in several of the Rankings' categories, in others, we're near the bottom. Our lowest rank? 47th for binge drinking. We're 46th for health investment per person, and 37th for kids' immunizations.

The report spotlights the particular health challenges of diabetes, obesity, and smoking and in each, Minnesota comes in above the middle of the pack: 4th, 13th, and 22nd, respectively.

Overall, the report ranks Hawaii as the healthiest state, followed by Vermont. Massachusetts and New Hampshire round out the top five. On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi takes the low honors in 50th, followed by Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, and West Virginia in slot 46.

The Rankings are the result of number-crunching sources like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Census Bureau. Check out the full report, and data for all 50 states, over at its site.

Some more fast facts about the state of Minnesota's health and wellness, via our page in the Rankings:

> In the past year, the prevalence of physical inactivity decreased from 21.9 percent to 17.5 percent of the adults; however, almost 740,000 adults remain physically inactive in the state.
> In the past 10 years, the percentage of children in poverty increased from 8.4 percent to 13.7 percent of persons younger than 18 years.
> Minnesota's prevalence of diabetes is among the lowest in the nation; however, nearly 310,000 adults have diabetes in the state.
> In the past 2 years, the infant mortality rate decreased from 5.8 to 4.6 deaths per 1,000 live births and is the lowest rate in 24 years.
> In the past 10 years, the rate of cardiovascular deaths decreased by 40 percent from 262.1 to 186.9 deaths per 100,000 population.

> Disparities: In Minnesota, 60.0 percent of adults aged 25 years and older with at least a high school education report their health is very good or excellent compared to only 30.3 percent with less than a high school education, resulting in a gap of 29.7 percent.

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