Iowa ranked 20th among the 50 states in an annual study examining 35 public health measures, according to the United Health Foundation.
The health score for Iowa was above the national average for the study, titled the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. The analysis was part of a three-decade-long effort to gain a better understanding of health trends and challenges in the 50 states.
Among the more positive findings, the percentage of American children in poverty continues to stay on a downward trend, while the number of mental health professionals is rising. In addition, adult smoking rates continue to decline, violent crime is 50 percent below its high point in 1993 and infant mortality rates are at a 30-year low.
Challenges for the nation include increases in suicides, drug deaths and chlamydia cases, according to the analysis. Rates of obesity and diabetes, meanwhile, are up significantly over the past 30 years, the report said.
General health categories monitored in the study were behaviors, community and the environment, public policy, health outcomes and overall medical care.
States’ Public Health Rankings, From Best to Worst
Health Score RankingStateAbove National Average Score?1VermontYes2MassachusettsYes3HawaiiYes4ConnecticutYes5UtahYes6New HampshireYes7MinnesotaYes8New JerseyYes9WashingtonYes10ColoradoYes11New YorkYes12CaliforniaYes13Rhode IslandYes14North DakotaYes15VirginiaYes16IdahoYes17NebraskaYes18MarylandYes19WyomingYes20IowaYes21MaineYes22OregonYes23WisconsinYes24MontanaYes25South DakotaYes26IllinoisYes27AlaskaYes28PennsylvaniaYes29KansasNo30DelawareNo31ArizonaNo32MichiganNo33FloridaNo34TexasNo35NevadaNo36North CarolinaNo37New MexicoNo38OhioNo39MissouriNo40GeorgiaNo41IndianaNo42South CarolinaNo43KentuckyNo44TennesseeNo45West VirginiaNo46OklahomaNo47AlabamaNo48ArkansasNo49LouisianaNo50MississippiNo
Source: United Health Foundation