Texas ranks in bottom half of states, at 34, in annual public health study

Texas ranked 34th among the 50 states in an annual study examining 35 public health measures, according to the United Health Foundation.

The health score for Texas was below the national average for the study, titled the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. The analysis was part of a three-decade-long effort to gain a better understanding of health trends and challenges in the 50 states.

Among the more positive findings, the percentage of American children in poverty continues to stay on a downward trend, while the number of mental health professionals is rising. In addition, adult smoking rates continue to decline, violent crime is 50 percent below its high point in 1993 and infant mortality rates are at a 30-year low.

Challenges for the nation include increases in suicides, drug deaths and chlamydia cases, according to the analysis. Rates of obesity and diabetes, meanwhile, are up significantly over the past 30 years, the report said.

General health categories monitored in the study were behaviors, community and the environment, public policy, health outcomes and overall medical care.

States’ Public Health Rankings, From Best to Worst

Health Score Ranking State Above National Average Score?
1 Vermont Yes
2 Massachusetts Yes
3 Hawaii Yes
4 Connecticut Yes
5 Utah Yes
6 New Hampshire Yes
7 Minnesota Yes
8 New Jersey Yes
9 Washington Yes
10 Colorado Yes
11 New York Yes
12 California Yes
13 Rhode Island Yes
14 North Dakota Yes
15 Virginia Yes
16 Idaho Yes
17 Nebraska Yes
18 Maryland Yes
19 Wyoming Yes
20 Iowa Yes
21 Maine Yes
22 Oregon Yes
23 Wisconsin Yes
24 Montana Yes
25 South Dakota Yes
26 Illinois Yes
27 Alaska Yes
28 Pennsylvania Yes
29 Kansas No
30 Delaware No
31 Arizona No
32 Michigan No
33 Florida No
34 Texas No
35 Nevada No
36 North Carolina No
37 New Mexico No
38 Ohio No
39 Missouri No
40 Georgia No
41 Indiana No
42 South Carolina No
43 Kentucky No
44 Tennessee No
45 West Virginia No
46 Oklahoma No
47 Alabama No
48 Arkansas No
49 Louisiana No
50 Mississippi No

Source: United Health Foundation

This article was first published by The Center Square.

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