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20 Healthiest States in the US in 2023

In this article, we will look into the 20 healthiest states in the US in 2023. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to the 5 Healthiest States in the US in 2023.

Health Status of the US

According to the OECD Health at a Glance 2023 report, The United States spends $12,555 per capita on healthcare, which is around 3 times more than the OECD average. However, the US lags behind other OECD countries in various aspects such as a low life expectancy, high preventable and treatable mortality rates, and alarmingly high prevalence of obesity. Despite its struggles, the US provides higher financial coverage as compared to other member countries, with 84% of the expense covered by mandatory prepayment. Moreover, 75% of people in the US report satisfaction with the quality of healthcare, surpassing the OECD average of 67%.

The US Healthcare Market

According to a report by McKinsey and Company, the healthcare market in the US was worth $654 billion in 2021. The market revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4% and reach $790 billion in 2026. Previous estimates projected a CAGR of 6% from 2021 to 2025. However, the industry faced multiple challenges such as labor shortages and high inflation rates hindering its growth. Although the growth is hampered by these challenges, significant growth is expected across various segments including Medicare Advantage, software and platforms, ambulatory surgery centers, and specialty pharmacy.

The Medicare segment is experiencing a significant shift that is expected to continue in the coming years, fueled by an increase in the aging population. As reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enrollment data, a 3% growth per year is expected in the over-65 population over the next five years. The commercial segment faced a decline in its profits in 2021 as compared to 2019, due to the return of deferred care after the pandemic. However, the segment is expected to rebound and grow at a CAGR of 15% by 2026.

The government segment is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11% and reach $75 billion in 2026. The growth is fueled by rising insurance premium rates and increased Medicare Advantage penetration. However, the growth is expected to be slower in 2023 due to inflation and an increase in provider reimbursement rates. The profit pools for the government segment are estimated to be about 50% more than the commercial segment, driven by a growing aging population, the rising traction of Medicare Advantage, and a decline in fully insured businesses.

Other segments that are expected to experience significant growth over the forecasted period include pharmacy services and healthcare services and technology (HST). Both segments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 3% and 10% respectively by 2026.

Major Players in the Industry

Some of the notable names in the US healthcare market include UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT).

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) is a top healthcare insurance company in the United States. On November 15, the company announced a $200,000 grant to six local foster care organizations across North Carolina. The funding will help the organizations improve their treatment services including mental healthcare, substance abuse rehabilitation and treatment, and educational support. This grant is a part of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated's (NYSE:UNH) efforts toward creating a healthier community in the US.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. On October 26, the company reported its earnings for the fiscal third quarter of 2023. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) reported an EPS of $2.13 and surpassed estimates by $0.18. The company reported a revenue of $15.96 billion for the quarter and outperformed estimates by $689.41 million. The company's revenue grew by 6.7% on a year-over-year basis.

Here are some of the comments from Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE:MRK) Q3 2023 earnings call:

"We are also applying our clinical expertise to accelerate the development of other potentially transformative treatments that we have added through strategic business development, such as sotatercept for pulmonary arterial hypertension and MK-7240, our TL1A inhibitor for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. This is complemented by our strong commercial execution capabilities, which we expect to amplify the impact of these life changing medicines and enable the creation of sustainable value for patients and shareholders over the long-term. Turning to this quarter’s performance. We delivered robust growth driven by demand for our innovative portfolio. We are confident that we will close out 2023 with continued strong performance, which is reflected in the updated full year outlook that Caroline will speak to in a few minutes.

Moving to our research organization, as I mentioned, we are making remarkable progress across multiple therapeutic areas in our promising late-phase pipeline. In oncology, Dean will speak to the significant success we are having in broadly leveraging, the foundational position that we have achieved with KEYTRUDA. This includes the continued advancements we are making in the treatment of earlier stage cancers. We are very excited by the recent FDA approval of a KEYTRUDA regimen for the neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment of certain patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer based on the KEYNOTE-671 trial results, which notably demonstrated an improvement in overall survival compared to a placebo and chemotherapy regimen. In addition, we presented numerous important datasets at last week’s European Society of Medical Oncology meeting, across a wide range of molecules, tumor types and indications."

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) is a leading multinational healthcare company. On October 31, the company announced the launch of a new initiative, the Abbott HeartMates program. The program aims to form a community of support for individuals impacted by heart conditions. The HeartMates will act as an emotional support program that connects people with others, going through similar heart conditions or recovery journeys. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has appointed the professional football player, Damar Hamlin as its first ambassador. The program will include a team comprising cardiovascular patients, their caregivers, healthcare providers, friends, and family. The inaugural team will be drafted in early 2024.

Now that we have talked about the health status of the US and the healthcare market, let's have a look at the 20 healthiest states in the US in 2023.

20 Healthiest States in the US in 2023
20 Healthiest States in the US in 2023

20 Healthiest States in the US in 2023 Methodology

To rank the 20 healthiest states in the US in 2023, we used three metrics: life expectancy, BMI distribution among adults, and self-reported health status (SRHS). Our data was sourced from KFF, which analyzes data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other reputable healthcare institutions.

Life expectancy serves as a crucial indicator in determining a state's well-being and health. It represents the average number of years expected to be lived by an individual. Our second metric, BMI distribution categorizes the adult population into 5 distinct classes: underweight, normal, overweight, obese, and severely obese. For our ranking, we have utilized the percentage of the population falling under the normal weight category, corresponding to a BMI of 18.5-24.9. Our third metric is self-reported health status (SRHS), which is an individual's perception of their health. Self-perceived health is recorded through surveys and questionnaires, asking individuals to rate their health on a scale ranging from poor and fair to good, very good, and excellent.

To identify the top contenders in our list, we initially sorted the list based on life expectancy, narrowing it down to 40 states. Then, we employed BMI distribution and SRHS to calculate our rating for each state. For SRHS, we considered the adult population who rated their health as good, very good, and excellent. We summed the percentage population in these three categories, to produce a percentage distribution representing positive self-reported health. After that, we assigned equal weights to the population maintaining normal weight and the population rating their health status as good to excellent and calculated a weighted average. Finally, we refined our list to the top 20 healthiest states in the US in 2023, ranking them in ascending order of our calculated score. Note: The BMI distribution data for Florida was not available in the KFF database, so we sourced it from the Florida Department of Health.

20 Healthiest States in the US in 2023

20. Rhode Island

Life Expectancy (2020): 78.2 years Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.308 Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.822 Insider Monkey Rating: 0.56 out of 1

Rhode Island is ranked among the healthiest states in the US in 2023, reporting a life expectancy of 78.2 years as of 2020. A whopping 30% of its population maintained a healthy weight and over 85% of adults rated their health as good to excellent.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) are some of the major US healthcare companies.

19. Texas

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.5 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.287

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.844

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.56 out of 1

According to the KFF, Texas reported a life expectancy of 76.5 years in 2020. Over 28% of its population reported a healthy weight in 2021. Around 84% of adults in Texas reported positive self-perceived health status as of 2022.

18. North Carolina

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.1 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.296

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.838 

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.56 out of 1

Ranked 18th on our list, North Carolina reported a life expectancy of 76.1 years in 2020. Around 30% of its population maintained a healthy weight in 2021 and around 84% of adults in North Carolina reported positive self-perceived health status as of 2022.

17. Alaska

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.6 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.300

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.836

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.56 out of 1

Alaska reported a life expectancy of 76.6 years in 2020. 30% of its population maintained a healthy weight and over 83% of adults in Alaska reported positive self-perceived health status as reported by the KFF.

16. Maryland

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.8 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.292

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.846

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.57 out of 1

Maryland is ranked 16th on our list, reporting a life expectancy of 76.8 years as of 2020. Around 29% of its population maintained a healthy weight and over 84% of adults rated their health as good to excellent.

15. Wisconsin

Life Expectancy (2020): 77.7 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.296

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.846

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.57 out of 1

Ranked 15th on our list, Wisconsin reported a life expectancy of 77.7 years in 2020. Around 30% of its population maintained a healthy weight and around 84% of adults in Wisconsin reported positive self-perceived health status.

14. Nevada

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.3 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.306

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.839

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.57 out of  1

Nevada is ranked 14th on our list of the 20 healthiest states in the US in 2023. According to the KFF, Nevada reported a life expectancy of 76.3 years in 2020. About 30% of its population reported a healthy weight in 2021. Over 83% of adults in Nevada reported a positive health status as of 2022.

13. Illinois

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.8 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.309

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.837

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.57 out of 1

Illinois reported a life expectancy of 76.8 years in 2020. Around 30% of its population maintained a healthy weight and around 84% of adults in the state rated their health as good to excellent.

12. Virginia

Life Expectancy (2020): 77.6 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.291

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.856

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.57 out of 1

Virginia is ranked 12th on our list, reporting a life expectancy of 77.6 years as of 2020. Around 29% of its population maintained a healthy weight and over 85% of adults rated their health as good to excellent according to the KFF.

11. Michigan

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.0 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.285

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.863

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.57 out of 1

Michigan reported a life expectancy of 76 years in 2020. Over 28% of its population maintained a healthy weight and 86% of adults in the state reported positive self-perceived health status according to the KFF.

10. Idaho

Life Expectancy (2020): 78.4 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.303

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.849

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.58 out of 1

According to the KFF, Idaho reported a life expectancy of 78.4 years in 2020. About 30% of its population reported a healthy weight and around 85% of adults in Idaho rated their health as good to excellent.

9. New Jersey

Life Expectancy (2020): 77.5 years

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.312

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.849

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.58 out of 1

Ranked 9th on our list, New Jersey reported a life expectancy of 77.5 years in 2020. Around 30% of its population maintained a healthy weight in 2021. According to the KFF, around 84% of adults in New Jersey reported positive self-perceived health status as of 2022.

8. California

Life Expectancy (2020): 79.0 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.332

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.831

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.58 out of 1

According to the KFF, California reported a life expectancy of 79 years in 2020. About 33% of its population reported a healthy weight as of 2021. Around 83% of adults in California reported positive self-perceived health status in 2022.

7. Hawaii

Life Expectancy (2020): 80.7 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.382

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.784

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.58 out of 1

Hawaii is ranked 7th on our list of the 20 healthiest states in the US in 2023. According to the KFF, Hawaii reported a life expectancy of 80.7 years in 2020. About 38% of its population falls under normal weight, reporting a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 as of 2021. Over 86% of adults in Hawaii self-report a positive health status in 2022.

6. Connecticut

Life Expectancy (2020): 78.4 years

Population having Normal Weight (2021): 0.317

Self-Reported Health Status of Adults (2022): 0.856

Insider Monkey Rating: 0.59 out of 1

Connecticut is ranked 6th on our list, reporting a life expectancy of 78.4 years as of 2020. Around 31% of its population maintained a healthy weight in 2021. According to the KFF, over 85% of adults rated their health as good to excellent in 2022.

Investors seeking exposure to the US healthcare market can research stocks including UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT).

Click to continue reading and see 5 Healthiest States in the US in 2023.

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Disclosure: None. 20 Healthiest States in the US in 2023 is originally published on Insider Monkey.