New York

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Among Healthiest States: Annual Report

What to Know

  • All three states in the tri-state did well in an annual report on the nation's health
  • New York has made a giant leap in its ranking; it was the 40th healthiest state in 1990 and is now the 10th healthiest
  • Connecticut is the fifth healthiest state; another Northeast state, Massachusetts, claimed the top spot

All three states in the tri-state are among the healthiest in the country, according to an annual report on the nation’s health.

Connecticut was the top performer, coming in at number five on the list. New York was ranked 10 and New Jersey was ranked 12.

The United Health Foundation publishes the state-by-state America’s Health Rankings report based on the World Health Organization’s definition of health: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

The report credited Connecticut and New York with having 200 primary care physicians per 100,000 people. And it recognized New Jersey for having 80 dentists per 100,000 people. Click here to view the full report.

Connecticut had the lowest number of cancer deaths in the tri-state at 173.7 per 100,000 people, but it had the highest number of drug deaths at 18.4 per 100,000.

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New York had the highest cardiovascular death rate in the tri-state at 257.6 per 100,000, but it had the lowest premature death rate – 5,701 per 100,000 – and was tied with New Jersey for the lowest infant mortality rate at 4.6 per 1,000 live births.

All three states’ numbers were good compared to many states. For example, the premature death rate in Mississippi is 10,950 per 100,000, nearly twice as high as New York’s.

States in the Northeast were among the healthiest in the country, with Massachusetts taking the number one spot and Vermont in third. Mississippi was ranked the least healthy state, followed by Louisiana and Arkansas, respectively.

New York made the largest five-year gain of all 50 states, jumping from a rank of 40th healthiest state in the nation in 1990, to 18th in 2012, to 10th in 2017.

Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker credited New York’s preventative approach, which focuses on the impacts of housing, transportation, education, the environment and other factors on health, with the gains. A tactic announced by Gov. Cuomo last year encourages sectors of the state government to consider the health implications of new policies and programs.

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The national report found adult smoking has been declining in all 50 states but that the number of drug deaths is trending upwards, with a 7 percent increase in the past year alone.

While air pollution, child poverty and the number of uninsured people have all been decreasing nationwide, there’s been an 8 percent increase in obesity over the past five years, and violent crime is up 8 percent in the past two years, the report found.

10 Healthiest States 

1. Massachusetts 

2. Hawaii 

3. Vermont

4. Utah

5. Connecticut

6. Minnesota

7. Colorado

8. New Hampshire

9. Washington

10. New York

10 Least Healthy States

1. Mississippi

2. Louisiana

3. Arkansas

4. Alabama

5. West Virginia

6. Tennessee

7. South Carolina

8. Oklahoma

9. Kentucky

10. Georgia

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