Bunyos/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If beautiful beaches and great weather aren’t enough to convince you that Hawaii is a great place to live, consider a new study from the United Health Foundation that ranks the Aloha State the healthiest place to live in the U.S.
According to the group’s "2013 America’s Health Rankings," Hawaii is the healthiest state. Vermont, last year's reported No. 1 state, is ranked second.
Hawaii scored well on most measures, including low rates of uninsured individuals, high rates of childhood immunization, and low rates of obesity, smoking and preventable hospitalizations.
Hawaii isn’t a health paradise, though. The foundation notes that while Hawaii is overall the healthiest state in the country, it does have higher-than-average rates of binge drinking and occupational fatalities, and lower-than-average rates of high school graduation.
Minnesota is third on the list of healthy places to live, followed by Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Utah, Connecticut, Colorado, North Dakota and New Jersey round out the top 10.
Mississippi ranks 50th this year, and Arkansas (49), Louisiana (48), Alabama (47) and West Virginia (46) complete the list of the five least-healthy states.
As a nation, things are starting to look up when it comes to our health. This past year, Americans improved in more than two-thirds of the measures used in America's Health Rankings.
The study finds that obesity has leveled off, with 27.6 percent of adults nationwide reporting being obese. Researchers note that while the nationwide rates of physical inactivity, smoking and diabetes were 22.9 percent, 19.6 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively, there's still significant room for improvement in those key health measures.
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