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The United Health Foundation is excited to release the 2017 America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report, which is the longest-running annual assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis. For 28 years, the report has analyzed a comprehensive set of behaviors, community and environmental conditions, policies, as well as clinical care and outcomes data to provide a holistic view of the nation’s health. This year, the report evaluates 35 core measures across these categories. The longevity of the report and wealth of credible data available for analysis provide a unique opportunity to track short- and long-term successes as well as identify current and emerging challenges to our nation’s health. America’s Health Rankings Annual Report strives to improve U.S. public health by:
  1. Providing a benchmark for states. This report is vital for gauging how the health of each state’s population changes by year and decade. The report also facilitates comparisons. How does each state's health compare with the health of other states and the nation overall? Data for many measures extend back to 1990 and are invaluable when forming a wide-angle, holistic view of state and U.S. health. America’s Health Rankings Annual Report presents findings “from the front lines” of population health, revealing encouraging and troubling trends over time.
  2. Stimulating action. This is the overarching purpose of the report to be a catalyst for data-driven discussions that can drive positive change and improve health. States incorporate the report into their annual review of programs, and many organizations use the report as a reference point when assigning goals for health-improvement programs.
The 2017 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report reveals distressing increases in mortality measures. In the past year, the premature death rate increased again. Since 2015, the premature death rate increased 3 percent or the equivalent of 217 years lost before age 75 per 100,000. The drug death rate continued its upward trend, increasing 7 percent to 15.0 deaths per 100,000 in the past year, a new high. The report also highlights that the number of health care providers per state varies greatly and primary care physicians, mental health providers and dentists are not equally represented within states.
On a positive note, smoking prevalence, the rate of preventable hospitalizations and the percentage of the population without health insurance continue to fall. When reading the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, it is important to read beyond the rankings. Every state has strengths and challenges. Additionally, each measure does not stand alone but is a strand in the web of health and everyday life of Americans. For example, a change for the good in physical inactivity could affect obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular deaths and other measures.This website allows users to read and download the report as well as study and analyze the data by state or by measure of interest. A detailed view of the report is available in the Learn section. The Explore section provides tools to visualize trends and variations in rankings geographically and by demographic characteristics.
In sum, America’s Health Rankings Annual Report provides a continually evolving snapshot of state and national health, yields insights on how each state’s health changes and most importantly enables action that makes communities and states healthier.

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