New Report Ranks States’ Health By Health And Social Metrics

FJ. Thomas

Atlanta, GA (WorkersCompensation.com) – Atlanta based digital holistic healthcare company Sharecare recently released a report ranking states from data analyzed across multiple health metrics. The company reviewed 2019 state data across two components, Well-Being Index (WBI) and Social Determinants of Health Index (SDOHi). WBI components included purpose, social, financial, community and physical metrics. SDOHi components included access to healthcare, food, and resources as well as economic security, and transportation and housing.

Overall, the healthiest states according to their WBI scores, are New Hampshire ranked number one, followed by Hawaii, Utah, Colorado, and Oregon. The states that had the lowest WBI scores overall included Mississippi, followed by Kentucky, Louisiana, Delaware, and Alabama. Of the states that fell in the bottom 10 in the company’s previous year reporting using 2018 data, seven of those states had the lowest WBI index for 2019 as well.

This year was the first time New Hampshire gained the number one spot for healthiest state. This was due in part to the state also ranking number one for several components of the WBI metrics. For instance, New Hampshire ranked number one in purpose, financial, community, and physical metrics. For social metrics, the state ranked third.

When it came to lowest scores, multiple states scored low depending on the metric. The lowest ranking state for purpose was Delaware. The lowest ranking state for social metrics was South Dakota. The state with the lowest score for financial metrics was Mississippi, which also ranked last for physical metrics as well. Maryland ranked last for the community metric.

When comparing SDOHi scores, the results were a bit more diverse with a few unexpected results. For the SDOHi scores, the top 5 states included Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Hawaii. The bottom 5 states with the lowest SDOHi scores included MIssissippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama.

For the healthcare access metric, Massachusetts ranked number one, and Idaho ranked last. For the access to food metric, California ranked number one and Mississippi ranked last. Vermont scored number one for access to resources, followed by South Dakota while California ranked last. Nevada ranked second to last in that category.

For transportation and housing, Hawaii ranked number one while Kansas ranked last followed by Nebraska as second to last. North Dakota ranked first in economic security, followed by Nebraska. West Virginia fell last in this category, followed by New Mexico as second to last.

The report makes mention that COVID-19 has had an impact on the access to food scores as many businesses had to shut down or cut back during the pandemic. Thirteen percent of restaurants, 14 percent of large grocery stores, and 12 percent of small grocery stores closed due to the pandemic.

Sharecare was co-founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and is located in Atlanta and Boston University School of Public Health. You can read more about their report on their website.

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