Hawaii has jumped from the 10th to the 4th healthiest state in the nation, according to the 15th annual “America’s Health” survey by the nonprofit United Health Foundation. In the 2004 survey, Hawaii had the lowest prevalence of obesity, the lowest rate of death due to cardiovascular health and cancer, and the lowest mortality rate. Overall, the islands came in behind only Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
“Hawaii has been among the top ten states for 13 of the 15 years of this index,” the foundation’s state-by-state snapshot notes.
According to the survey, only 16.4 percent of Hawaii’s population is obese. The state saw only 251.6 deaths per 100,000 people due to cardiovascular disease and only 166 deaths per 100,000 people due to cancer. And hawaii’s mortality rate was a low 675.4 deaths per 100,000 people.
In the past year, the prevalence of smoking in Hawaii fell from 21 percent (8th place) to 17.2 percent (3rd place), compared to 27.6 percent in 1990 (10th place).
However, although the high school graduation rate increased from 61.0 percent to 64.8 percent, Hawaii’s ranking in that category only climbed from 41st to 37th.
The three least healthiest states were Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana.