Colorado no longer ranks in the top ten healthiest states.
The 21st annual America’s Health Rankings were released Tuesday. Colorado fell to 13th in the nation, dropping five spots since the 2009 rankings.
High geographic disparity, low immunization coverage and high prevalence of binge drinking all contributed to Colorado’s lower ranking. In immunization coverage and geographic disparity, Colorado ranked in the bottom 10—43rd and 48th respectively—while it ranked 30th in prevalence of binge drinking. The report also found a relatively high rate of uninsured, with 15.6 percent of people in Colorado uninsured.
Colorado still maintains the lowest obesity rate in the nation, with 18.9 percent of the state’s population consider obese. Cancer and cardiovascular deaths rank in the top five lowest nationally, placing 3rd and 5th overall. Smoking rates dropped from 20th in 2009 to 16th in 2010.
Nationally, the overall health of the country as a whole improved by 1 percent thanks to reductions in smoking, preventable hospitalizations and infectious disease. However, obesity, children living in poverty and lack of health insurance all increased. The report showed an almost 20 percent jump in adults with diabetes in the last five years. The increase in overall health from 2009 to 2010 was the best in a decade, but fell short of the improvement year-to-year in the 1990s, when health rates improved 1.5 percent a year.
Vermont has topped the list of healthiest states for the last four years, and remained the champ in 2010. New England states took the top four positions on the list, with Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut ranking 2nd through 4th. Hawaii rounded out the top five.
Mississippi is the least healthy state in the nation based on the rankings, followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma.
The rankings are a collaboration between the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.