Special Report

The Worst Thing About Every State


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Worst thing: 38.1% HPV immunization rate in females

Kansas is tied (with Mississippi) for the lowest share of females who are immunized against HPV, at 38.1%. For context, 53.7% of American females are immunized against the sexually transmitted infection, which can cause cervical and other kinds of cancers.

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Worst thing: Highest cancer death rate

There are about 233 cancer deaths per 100,000 residents in Kentucky annually, more than any other states. The national average is 189 cancer deaths per 100,000 people.

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Worst thing: Highest murder rate

At 12.5 murders per 100,000 residents, Louisiana’s murder rate is the highest nationwide and more than double the national homicide rate of 5.5 murders per 100,000 people, according to the FBI.

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Worst thing: Highest incidence of whooping cough

Maine has the highest incidence of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, of any state. In 2018, it reported 30.7 cases per 100,000 residents — more than five times the U.S. overall rate.

Worst thing: Highest share of commuters driving alone

About 49.5% of workers in Maryland commute by car — alone — for over half an hour, a higher share than in every other state.