Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Which states are the “healthiest”?

The answer probably depends to some extent on what you use as a measure of health, but death rates seem like a pretty good indicator. According to the most recent death statistics released by the National Center for Health Statistics, the states with the lowest age-adjusted death rates are Hawaii, Minnesota, California, and New York (from low to not quite as low). The states with the highest age-adjusted death rates are Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma (from extremely high to not quite as high). I guess it is either very good or very bad to live on a coast. I'd wonder if the Gulf of Mexico were toxic, except that Florida falls right after New York in the list of low death rate states.

Probably more relevant, a characteristic that all the states with the high mortality rates share is relatively low levels of education.

Perhaps it is some consolation to Oklahoma that they currently have unusually
low unemployment rates?

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