A ranking by state of America’s healthiest and least healthy states has the Bay State – and much of New England – near the top of the list.

According to the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, the Commonwealth ranks No. 3 nationally in overall health, a ranking based on how residents are making progress in key health metrics.

Massachusetts benefits from a low percentage of uninsured population, low infant mortality rate, and low obesity rates. However, the state could still improve in some areas, including high violent crime rates, a large disparity in health status by education level, and excessive drinking.

Massachusetts isn’t the only state in New England to be so high in the rankings; in fact, most of the region was featured prominently on the list. Vermont was No. 2, New Hampshire was No. 5, and Connecticut was No. 6. Rhode Island and Maine were No. 14 and No. 15, respectively.

Hawaii was the No. 1 state in the nation in the health rankings. Louisiana finished 50th.

United Healthcare notes that in general, Americans are smoking less and living less sedentary lives but there are challenges ahead, including illegal drug and prescription drug abuse, obesity, diabetes, and children in poverty.

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