25 healthiest states in America

How healthy is your state?
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Each year, the United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association team up to rank the health of the states using a wide range of criteria, including concrete health measures (such as cancer deaths and diabetes rates), lifestyle factors (smoking and alcohol use), and broad quality-of-life indicators (air pollution, violent crime).

America's Health Rankings, as the report is called, is designed to highlight both the bright spots and the problem areas in the nation's public health. Here are the 25 healthiest states entering 2013. Where did your state rank in 2012?

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25. Arizona

2011 Rank: 27
Change: +2

Strengths:
Low prevalence of obesity
Low rate of preventable hospitalizations
Low rates of cancer deaths & cardiovascular deaths

Challenges:
High percentage of children in poverty
Limited availability of primary care physicians
Low high school graduation rate

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24. Kansas

2011 Rank: 25
Change: +1

Strengths:
Low prevalence of binge drinking
Low prevalence of low birthweight
High rate of high school graduation

Challenges:
Low per capita public health funding
Limited availability of primary care physicians
High occupational fatalities rate

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23. Wyoming

2011 Rank: 21
Change: –2

Strengths:
Low incidence of infectious disease
Low percentage of children in poverty
Low levels of air pollution

Challenges:
Limited availability of primary care physicians
Low immunization coverage
High prevalence of low birthweight

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22. California

2011 Rank: 22
Change: no change

Strengths:
Low prevalence of smoking
Low prevalences of obesity & sedentary lifestyle
Low infant mortality rate

Challenges:
High levels of air pollution
Low high school graduation rate
High incidence of infectious disease

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21. Virginia

2011 Rank: 23
Change: +2

Strengths:
Low violent crime rate
Few poor mental & physical health days per month
Low percentage of children in poverty

Challenges:
Low immunization coverage
High geographic disparity within the state
High prevalences of obesity & diabetes

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20. Iowa

2011 Rank: 16
Change: –4

Strengths:
High rate of high school graduation
Low percentage of children in poverty
Few poor mental & physical health days per month

Challenges:
High prevalence of binge drinking
Limited availability of primary care physicians
High incidence of infectious disease

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19. Maryland

2011 Rank: 24
Change: +5

Strengths:
Low prevalence of smoking
Low percentage of children in poverty
Ready availability of primary care physicians

Challenges:
High violent crime rate
High prevalence of low birthweight & high infant mortality rate
High levels of air pollution

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18. New York

2011 Rank: 20
Change: +2

Strengths:
Ready availability of primary care physicians
Low prevalence of smoking
Low prevalence of obesity
High per capita public health funding

Challenges:
Low high school graduation rate
High prevalence of diabetes

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17. Idaho

2011 Rank: 15
Change: –2

Strengths:
Low prevalence of smoking
Low rate of preventable hospitalizations
Low prevalence of sedentary lifestyle

Challenges:
Limited availability of primary care physicians
Low immunization coverage
High rate of uninsured population

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