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Where Women Should Live

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Where Women Should Live

Recent study teases out the best and worst states for women in the United States

Women in New England and the western United States are doing better health-wise than women in many southern states, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s “Status of Women in the States: 2015” report. The report found major disparities across the states when it comes to women’s health and safety.

The rankings, based on federal government data, tracked six categories:

chronic disease
sexual health
mental health
obesity and healthy weight
limitations on women’s activities
preventive care and healthy behaviors
Women in Minnesota, which sat at the top of the health and well-being index, are a whole lot healthier than their counterparts in Mississippi, which ranked last out of the 50 states. Why? The rate of heart disease mortality in Mississippi is more than twice the rate of Minnesota. And about 66 percent of women in Mississippi are overweight or obese, compared to 52.4 percent of women in Minnesota.

The top 10 states on the index:

Minnesota
Hawaii
North Dakota
Utah
Nebraska
Colorado
Connecticut
Vermont
Massachusetts
Iowa
The bottom 10 states on the index:

South Carolina
Kentucky
West Virginia
Tennessee
Oklahoma
Arkansas
District of Columbia
Louisiana
Alabama
Mississippi
The caveat to this study, of course, is that the African-American population was too small to register in several of the healthy states (Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont). Our representation in all of the unhealthiest states, however, was huge—and our numbers were even more dismal than our white counterparts’.

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BHM Edit Staff