How Healthy is New Jersey? See the New State-by-State Rankings
New Jersey is the 12th-healthiest state in the nation, according to new rankings, still finding itself among the bottom half of states on several measures.
The Garden State's overall rank on the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings dropped from No. 9 last year. Massachusetts landed the No. 1 spot. Mississippi ranked last.
The report looked at 35 measures covering behaviors, community and environment, policy, clinical care and outcomes.
New Jersey topped the nation, with Massachusetts, for its ratio of dentists to residents — 80.7 per 100,000 population.
At a rate approaching 90 percent, New Jersey came in second overall for high school graduation.
"The thought always is when you have a higher-educated population, their health tends to be better, they tend to have a higher level ... of health literacy," Dr. Marilyn Gordon, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare of New Jersey, told the Townsquare News Network.
The smoking prevalence among adults — 14 percent — ranked eighth among the states.
New Jersey ranked fifth-best for both its infant mortality rate and premature death rate.
On the flip side, only four states fared worse than New Jersey for physical inactivity, according to the report. About 30 percent of New Jersey adults reported doing no physical activity or exercise, other than work, over the past 30 days.
New Jersey's 27 percent of adults considered obese ranked 13th nationally.
Drug deaths in the state jumped from 8.1 per 100,000 population to 14.8 over the past 10 years.
The number of mental health providers per 100,000 residents registered at 189 in New Jersey — 31st among the states. The best state, Massachusetts, has 547 providers per 100,000 people.
The state also ranked in the bottom 25 for air pollution, public health funding, uninsured residents and preventable hospitalizations, among other measures.