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Wisconsin drops to 16th in national overall health ranking

Published On: Dec 11 2012 03:14:07 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 11 2012 03:20:51 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

Wisconsin ranks 16th in overall health in 2012, down four spots from last year's United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings.

In 2011, Wisconsin was ranked 12th when compared with the health of other states.

The 23rd Edition of America's Health Rankings found that, similar to every other state, Wisconsin has its share of strengths and challenges.

Wisconsin has the sixth lowest rate of uninsured population at 9.9 percent. It also has the 11th lowest prevalence of diabetes at 8.4 percent.

The report found that Wisconsin was No. 1 in high school graduation, with 90.7 percent of Wisconsin students graduating within four years compared with 75.5 percent nationally.

As for Wisconsin's health challenges, the report found that the state is No. 1 in obesity rate among African-American adults at 49.4 percent.

The state also ranked No. 1 in binge drinking rate at 24.3 percent.

Wisconsin also saw the largest increase in children living in poverty at 21.4 percent, and increase from 12.7 percent in 2011.

The report said Wisconsin also ranked 50th in per capita public health funding at $39.

For the sixth year in a row, Vermont was rated the nation's healthiest state in America's Health Rankings. Hawaii is ranked second, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

The five least healthy states are South Carolina (46), West Virginia (47), Arkansas (48), and Mississippi and Louisiana, which tied for the 49th slot.

America's Health Rankings is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation's health on a state-by state basis. It is published jointly by United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.

To see the health rankings in full, go americashealthrankings.org.

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