NH DHHS - New Hampshire Fifth Healthiest State in the Nation

Concord, NH - The 2013 version of the United Health Foundation’s America’s

Health Rankings report gives the State of New Hampshire an overall

fifth-place ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia today.

This year’s report looks at various health indicators, such as obesity and

smoking rates, including some new measurements for the first time this

year, such as deaths from substance abuse, disparity in health status, and

dental care.

Last year New Hampshire was ranked third initially, then changes to the

model and how rankings were calculated was revised by the United Health

Foundation, so the State dropped to fifth. New Hampshire is generally a

healthy state though by most measures. Some highlights from this year’s

report are that in the past year smoking prevalence decreased from 19.4% to

17.2% in New Hampshire, over the past 10 years the high school graduation

rate has improved from 75.3% to 86.3%, and in the past 10 years the rate of

cardiovascular deaths decreased by 42% from 310.0 to 218.9 per 100,000


Not all measures are positive in the State though, with the percentage of

children living in poverty increasing in the past 10 years from 6.5% to

10.9%, a high prevalence of binge drinking, and a high rate of pertussis


“We are lucky to be living in such a healthy state,” said Dr. José Montero,

Public Health Director at DHHS, “but there is more work to be done. Our

immunization rate among children is second in the country, but it is not

acceptable that we are seeing a busy year for cases of whooping cough. We

still struggle too with a fairly high rate of obesity and diabetes as well

as youth tobacco use. These cross-cutting issues require comprehensive

approaches with appropriate and clearly identified strategies and funding,

so we can successfully continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our


Our health is the result of a combination of many factors, some within our

control and some not. America’s Health Rankings analyzes a comprehensive

set of behaviors, public and health policies, environmental conditions, and

clinical data from the states to calculate an overall view of the health of

the country. The report is based on the perspective that, in addition to

our individual genetic predisposition to disease, healthiness is based on

the interaction of four essential and controllable factors: everyday

activities that affect our health, the daily conditions in which we live,

the availability of resources to promote and maintain health, and the

clinical care we receive at physicians’ offices, clinics, and hospitals.

To read the entire report, visit www.americashealthrankings.org . For more

information about any of the issues addressed, visit the NH Department of

Health and Human Services website at www.dhhs.nh.gov