New Hampshire snatched the honor of the healthiest state in the U.S. from Minnesota in 2000, while Mississippi regained its status as least healthy, according to a report prepared by UnitedHealth Group. The findings reflect not only absence of disease, but also social factors that can influence prevalence and risk of illness: smoking, violent crime, unemployment, and high school graduation rates, to name some. Hawaii was the biggest gainer, jumping from 11th in 1999 to 5th last year. New Jersey and Illinois each had the largest drops, slipping three notches.
SOURCE: ANALYSIS OF THE RELATIVE HEALTHINESS OF POPULATIONS IN ALL 50 STATES, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP, MINNEAPOLIS, 2001