The Granite State may have dropped one spot from last year's rankings, but New Hampshire is still one of the healthiest states in the country according to the United Health Foundation’s annual America’s Health Rankings, which were released Tuesday.
New Hampshire ranks third this year, falling from the No. 2 spot in the 2011 rankings. Hawaii leapfrogged New Hampshire for second place in 2012.
Among the factors that helped the Granite State stay near the top of the national rankings are a low percentage of children in poverty, a low violent criminal rate, a low infant mortality rate and a high rate of high school graduation, according to the 2012 rankings report. Low per capita public health funding and a moderate prevalence of binge drinking continue to be health obstacles for the state.
Vermont was ranked the healthiest state for the sixth year in a row, while Mississippi and Louisiana tied for last place, according to the rankings. All six New England states rank among the top 10, as Massachusetts came in fourth, Connecticut came in sixth, Maine came in ninth and Rhode Island came in 10th.
A release from the United Health Foundation states America’s Health Rankings is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by state basis. The rankings are published jointly by United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, and the rankings are calculated by evaluating a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks and state rankings.