Sep 13, 2023 - Health

Scoop: Utah ranked 10th healthiest state in the U.S. — again

Illustration of a red cross made of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seafood.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Utah is ranked the 10th healthiest state in the U.S. for the third year in a row, according to the annual Sharecare Community Well-Being Index report released Tuesday that analyzed all 50 states.

How it works: Sharecare, a digital health company, and Boston University School of Public Health assessed well-being domains — including social, financial and community — and social determinants of health to compile its rankings.

Driving the news: Utah ranked as the top state for economic security, perhaps unsurprisingly.

  • The Beehive State's unemployment rate is lower than the national average.
  • Utah is also listed as 4th for its social well-being; 7th for food access; and 10th in community well-being.

What they're saying: Utah ranks in the top 20 for the financial, purpose and physical well-being domains, Michael Rickles, Sharecare's vice president of research, told Axios.

Yes, but: The state placed 50th in the resource access domain, which measures the number of libraries and religious institutions per 10,000 people, employment rates for seniors and presence of grocery stores within 20 miles of residents.

  • Though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered in Utah, Rickles said its low resource access domain ranking could be partly attributed to religious institutions that are largely concentrated in one portion of the state.

Zoom out: Massachusetts was listed as the No. 1 healthiest state for the year, while Mississippi ranked last, per the report.

The big picture: The data reveals a disparity between western and eastern states, researchers noted.

  • "Western regions exhibit overall improvements in well-being — in stark contrast to [the] downturn observed in eastern states," per the report.

Zoom in: When analyzing all the nation's counties, Summit and Salt Lake counties were ranked as 17th and 76th most healthy in the U.S., per Rickles.

  • Meanwhile, San Juan County ranked 3,058th.
  • "Even within the state, there's some pretty big disparities," he said.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Sharecare Community Well-Being Index ranked Massachusetts (not Hawai'i) as the healthiest state.

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