Health Is Wealth: From The Best To The Worst, How Does Your State Rank?

Throughout the United States, health and wellbeing vary in importance, depending on the state. Between community, physical activity, and even access to healthy foods, states such as Mississippi and California couldn’t be more different in terms of health.

Keep reading to learn more about the best and worst states for healthy living.

Worst: Mississippi

MEDECINE-GENETIQUE-OBESITE
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images

A few things are working against Mississippi when it comes to people living healthy lifestyles. First, many residents of the state aren’t in the best physical condition, ranking 47th out of 50 in Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

Not only that, but it ranks last in food access, causing residents to make fast food runs instead of grocery shopping for healthier options.

Best: Hawaii

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

One of the best states for a person’s health is Hawaii. According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, this gorgeous state ranks number one in terms of physical health, community, and purpose.

This means residents of the state are energized throughout the day, have a loving community behind them, and are motivated to achieve their goals!

Worst: West Virginia

USA - Health - Huntington West Virginia Named Most Unhealthiest US Town
David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images
David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images

According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, West Virginia is second to last in terms of “Overall Social Detriments of Health.” The state doesn’t have good access to healthy food options, leaving people to get quick and easy options.

The state is also home to Huntington, known as the unhealthiest town in the entire country due to all of its fast-food restaurants.

Best: California

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gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Between the health-crazy people, indoor and outdoor exercise and activities, and abundant food options, California is one of the best states for a person’s health.

In fact, according to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, California ranks number one in terms of food access. People would prefer to grab produce at the local farmer’s market than a Big Mac.

Worst: Arkansas

According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, Arkansas comes in dead last when diving into the physical well-being of the state’s residents.

The report also brings to light the fact that the state doesn’t have a supportive community, most likely making it difficult for people to get motivated and healthy.

Best: New Jersey

Best: New Jersey
VCG/VCG via Getty Images
VCG/VCG via Getty Images

New Jersey is called the Garden State for a reason! The tiny state comes in at number four on Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report for food access, as residents prefer farm-fresh produce over processed meals.

People are also more likely to get outside, move, and exercise, securing New Jersey’s spot at three for Physical well-being!

Worst: Kentucky

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Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kentucky doesn’t have the best financial security, coming in at number 46 on Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report. Because of this, residents are more likely to purchase easy and quick food options, bypass a gym membership, and possibly live a less-than-healthy lifestyle.

It doesn’t help that people who live in the state don’t have the best support system or social lives, at number 47 in the report.

Best: Massachusetts

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Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts is one of the healthiest states for a person to live in. When it comes to the “Overall Detriments of Health,” it tops Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

Not only that, but people in Massachusetts tend to be financially sound, are in good physical condition, and have access to health care.

Worst: Alabama

Berlin - Big Mac
Froese/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Froese/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Like a lot of rural states in the United States, Alabama isn’t exactly the healthiest around.

In fact, it comes in at number 44 in the “Overall Rank” of Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, making it one of the unhealthiest in the country in virtually every category of the report.

Best: New York

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UKENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images
UKENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

People living in New York tend to speed walk everywhere, helping their high physical well-being ranking in Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

Not only that, but New York has so many food options, a lot of them healthy, making it one of the most food-accessible states in the country, coming in at number two in the report.

Worst: Louisiana

Banana fritters. Battambang. Cambodia.
Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Yes, Louisiana has some of the best Cajun food around. But when a lot of dishes come fried, it doesn’t help anyone’s health. According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, Louisiana comes in at number 48 for individual physical wellness.

The delicious Beignets, Po’boy sandwiches, and fried Crawfish Étouffée aren’t helping matters!

Best: Connecticut

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Emma Simpson/unsplash
Emma Simpson/unsplash

In the entire United States, Connecticut is one of the healthiest. Ranking number nine on the Overall Index of Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, people who live in this particular state tend to be more physically active and have better diets.

Not to mention their support system, social lives, and financial stability trump that of other states, helping overall health and wellness.

Worst: New Mexico

Food Insecurity During COVID-19
Cate Dingley for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Cate Dingley for The Washington Post via Getty Images

New Mexico is one of the unhealthiest states in the country, according to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report. On the report, New Mexico ranks as one of the lowest in terms of individual well-being, at number 49!

This category includes physical health, social interactions, a supportive community, setting purposeful goals, and financial stability.

Best: Utah

Hiker in The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Utah is one of the more financially sound states in the country, helping its residents to afford healthy foods and even gym memberships.

In fact, according to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, Utah ranks as the ninth most physically active state (thank you, Zion National Park!), boosting its health and wellness above a vast majority of the country.

Worst: Oklahoma

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Aleksandra Sapozhnikova/unsplash
Eiliv Sonas-Aceron/unsplash

When it comes to health and well-being, Oklahoma falls on the bottom of the list in a vast majority of Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report categories.

The state not only comes in 47th in the overall well-being of individuals, but it also comes in second to last when it comes to physical health.

Best: Minnesota

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Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Even though it is cold a solid chunk of the year, Minnesota is still ranked as one of the healthier states in the country, coming in at number four for overall individual well-being on Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

The state is also ranked in the top five for physical well-being, community support, and financial stability, helping people purchase good and healthy foods.

Worst: Texas

A Look Inside Snow's BBQ From Netflix's
Jim Bennett/Getty Images
Jim Bennett/Getty Images

The age-old saying, “everything is bigger in Texas,” isn’t exactly a good thing for individual health. Texas is one of the unhealthier states in the country, with people not necessarily taking the time to exercise or eating fresh whole foods, thanks to the infamous Texas BBQ.

Instead, when it comes to accessing resources, the state falls ranks 48 in Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

Best: Utah

Deer Valley World Cup - Training Day 1
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

When it comes to health and wellness, Utah is one of the best states in the country.

Located in the Rocky Mountains, Utah is full of active people who enjoy physical activity and support one another, as shown by the state’s number nine ranking on Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

Worst: Tennessee

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John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Unfortunately, what Tennessee offers in music and culture, they lack in health and well-being. The country music state is ranked as one of the unhealthiest states in the country, coming in at number 42 on Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report’s overall health index.

Further review of the report also shows that this state falls to the 45th ranking in terms of physical well-being.

Best: Oregon

Exploring Oregon's Crater Lake National Park
George Rose/Getty Images
George Rose/Getty Images

Mountains, hiking, fishing, kayaking in the rivers; Oregon has many options for people to go out and be active, allowing the state to secure the number 16th spot in overall individual well-being in Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

Not only that, but the state’s food access is well above the national average, making it seem as though people prefer shopping for healthy whole foods instead of processed fast food.

Worst: Georgia

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Scott Legato/Getty Images for Live Nation
Scott Legato/Getty Images for Live Nation

Georgia is one of the unhealthier states in the country. According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, a vast majority of the counties in Georgia have limited access to resources, including food.

Not having easy access to grocery stores possibly means people resort to easier options, such as fast food.

Best: Colorado

Cliff camping in Estes Park, Colorado.
Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post
Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post

With all of the outdoor activities available in the state, it might not come as too big a surprise to learn that Colorado is one of the healthier states in the country. On Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, Colorado ranks as the seventh most physically active state.

Not only that, but this state also comes in at number nine for overall individual wellness.

Worst: Indiana

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Unsplash/Oleg Ivanov
Unsplash/Oleg Ivanov

When it comes to health and wellness, Indiana is a bit below the national average, according to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

In the report, Indiana’s overall individual health and wellbeing ranks at number 41, while physical health ranks at 38, and healthcare access at 40. Every metric out of the total 50 states.

Best: Illinois

Produce section at Whole Foods store on Long Island
Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images
Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Illinois is one of the healthier states in the country, coming in at number 13 on overall individual health for Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report. That same report shows that Illinois is also well over the national average for food access, ranking the state at number five.

Healthcare access is also shown as being above the national average.

Worst: South Carolina

Key Speakers At the Citizens United South Carolina Freedom Summit
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Such as its sister state North Carolina, South Carolina isn’t one of the healthier states in the country, coming in at number 40 on Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report.

While the state is well below the national average in terms of healthy food access, the state is in no short supply of comfort food, which isn’t really helping its unhealthy living cause.

Best: Washington

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Unsplash/Robert Koorenny
Unsplash/Robert Koorenny

The overall wellness index of Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report ranks Washington state at number eight, making it one of the healthier states in the country.

Also on the report, it shows Washington as being one of the more physically active states, ranking it at number 11, while access to good and healthy food is well above the national average.

Worst: North Carolina

Map Of North Carolina
Interim Archives/Getty Images
Interim Archives/Getty Images

Southern states tend to fall in the “unhealthy” category when looking at the entire United States. North Carolina is no different. According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, North Carolina falls in at number 37 when it comes to overall wellness.

It doesn’t help that the distance between resident homes and healthy food suppliers is well below the national average, making it hard for people to care about whole and fresh foods.

Best: Rhode Island

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Pille R Priske/unsplash
Adam Bartoszewicz/unsplash

As it turns out, Rhode Island is one of the healthier places for people to line in the United States. According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report, Rhode Island is far beyond the national average when it comes to the distance between residents’ homes and health food stores.

Not only that, but Rhode Island is also beyond the national average for accessible healthcare, making it one of the better wellness states in the country.

Worst: Maine

Rustic House
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Carl D. Walsh/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Whether it’s because people don’t go outside for a lot of the winter season or something else altogether, Maine is one of the unhealthier states in the country. Surprising, since there are a lot of outdoor activities to do.

Even so, when it comes to overall wellness, Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report ranks Maine at number 29, with health food accessibility being way below the national average.

Best: Maryland

1826 Map of Maryland
Michael Maslan/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Michael Maslan/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

When it comes to health and wellness, Maryland is one of the better states.

Not only is it above the national average when it comes to accessing healthy foods in close proximity to people’s homes, but Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index Report ranks Maryland at a solid number four when it comes to overall individual health.