Health and Healthcare

The Unhealthiest State In America

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Healthcare varies substantially by state based on dozens of factors. The same is valid for cities. Some of this is due to the availability of medical facilities. Some have to do with health habits. Some have to do with incomes and poverty levels. People who live in poor states, based on income, almost always have unhealthy populations. A new study from RenewBariatrics shows that.

The survey, “Healthiest (and Unhealthiest) States in the US—2024 Rankings,” reviews alcohol use, diabetes, drug overdoses, mental health, isolation, tobacco use, exercise, and the presence of heart disease, obesity, and cancer. These, taken together, create an index from 0 to 100, with 100 being the worst possible score. These are the most expensive states to live in.

West Virginia is the healthiest state, with a score of 100. The authors wrote, “West Virginia comes in as the most unhealthy state considering a number of factors like extremely high rates of tobacco use and drug overdoses alongside already high rates of diabetes.”

According to The World Population Review, West Virginia has the second lowest median income of all states, at $51,248.

Louisiana is the second-worst state in the unhealthiest category, scoring 84.5. It has the third-lowest median income among all states, at $52,087.

Median income also comes close to matching the healthiest states. Hawaii, with a score of 0.0, is at the top of the health list. It ranks as the seventh highest state in median income, at $84,857.

Median income may not perfectly match health outcomes, but it is close.

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