Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ranking America's Health

The Southern states rank as America's least healthy.

As a Southerner, I'm somewhat used to rankings that often find the Southern states where I live, work, and visit family as among the worst on a host of social indicators:  poverty, low education, and disease.  The University of Wisconsin recently received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) to synthesize a large number of health indicators and rank the states and counties for health.  America's Health Rankings (for states) and its sister site, County Health Rankings, generated considerable news coverage and controversy as you would expect anytime you rank places.  Below is a map of the health rankings for the year the ACA was enacted by Congress:  

As you can see, the least healthy states tend to be in the southern tier of the country.  Of the former Confederate states, only Virginia ranks among the healthiest half of states.

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