Concord, NH – New Hampshire ranks as the third healthiest state in the country, according to the 2008 America’s Health Rankings list. The United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention compiled the annual list that was released on Wednesday. Last year New Hampshire ranked 4th healthiest in the report.
“This report shows the progress New Hampshire continues to make in improving the health of our residents,” stated Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Director Dr Jose Montero. “Despite the high marks though, there are still many challenges we face and we must continue to work on improving in those areas.”
According to the report, some of New Hampshire’s strengths include a low percentage of children in poverty; high immunization coverage with 93% of children ages 19 months to 35 months receiving complete immunizations; a low violent crime rate; and a low infant mortality rate. The report cites New Hampshire’s challenges as moderate public health funding and a moderate number of poor mental health days.
On a national level, Americans health has stayed flat for the past four years. The report indicates the biggest challenges the nation is facing are obesity, smoking and lack of health insurance. America’s Health Rankings evaluates a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental, and socio-economic data to determine national health benchmarks and an annual ranking of the healthiest and least healthy states. This year Vermont ranked as healthiest in the nation; Louisiana was ranked the least healthy.