News release: America's Health Rankings 2014 places Minnesota sixth in overall health

News Release
December 10, 2014

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America's Health Rankings 2014 places Minnesota sixth in overall health

Minnesota drops from third in 2013, but still leads nation in lowest rate of cardiovascular deaths

Minnesota places sixth among all 50 states for overall health according to the latest edition of America's Health Rankings, a national comparative health index sponsored by the United Health Foundation (UHF) in partnership with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.

Minnesota dropped to sixth in 2014 after ranking third in both 2013 and 2012. However, the index shows Minnesota continues to lead the nation in the fewest cardiovascular deaths per 100,000 people, and ranks second in fewest days of poor physical health and second in fewest years lost due to premature death per 100,000 people. The state ranks fourth among all states for health insurance coverage, and for fewest days of poor mental health. Minnesota also earns praise for its low rates of diabetes and drug-related deaths. The full report is available online at, along with state-specific data.

The report highlights a number of ongoing challenges for Minnesota, including persistent disparities in health status among racial groups, a high percentage of adults engaging in binge drinking (Minnesota ranks 46th), and low per capita public health investment (Minnesota ranks 44th in this measure, with an investment of $48 in state and federal funding per person).

"Minnesota continues to perform well in most measures of public health, but we've slipped in some key areas and we are still seeing significant racial disparities in health status," said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. "We need to continue our work to address health disparities as well as the other issues highlighted in the report."

America's Health Rankings is the longest running comparative health index of states. It uses measures of behavior, community and environment, public and health policies, clinical care and health outcomes to describe the health and wellness of each state compared to all other states. The Rankings are updated each year to provide a perspective on change in health over the last 24 years.

Data used to compile the rankings come from a number of sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Department of Education and the Census Bureau. The report is reviewed and overseen by a Scientific Advisory Committee, with members from leading academic institutions, government agencies and the private sector.


Media inquiries:

Michael Schommer
MDH Communications