New York State Ranked Among Top 10 in the Nation for Health

Ranked 40th 1990, New York Climbs into Top 10 for 2017

New York Makes Greatest Gain Nationwide in Five Year Period

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 13, 2017) -- New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker today announced that New York made the largest five-year gain of all 50 states in this year's annual America's Health Rankings report. New York was ranked 10th in 2017, rising from 18th in 2012. When the rankings were first created in 1990, New York was ranked 40th in the nation.

"New York's steadfast commitment to improving the health of all New Yorkers is reflected in the latest rankings, which show we have continued to make significant gains, not just in the last five years, but over the last 28 years," said Dr. Zucker. "Under Governor Cuomo's direction, our tireless pursuit of policies that address the social factors that affect health is paying off. However, our work is not done. We will continue to work toward making New York the healthiest state in the nation."

New York's success has been driven in recent years by the state's Prevention Agenda, which serves as the blueprint for state and local action to improve public health. To achieve the Prevention Agenda goal of becoming the healthiest state in the nation, New York is focusing increased attention on the social determinants of health such as housing, transportation and education, and incorporating a Health Across all Policies approach to its work. This approach was announced in the Governor's State of the State last year and calls on all sectors of state government to consider the health implications of new policies and programs.

The report recognized several of New York's accomplishments, including a low prevalence of obesity, a high number of primary care physicians and a low rate of premature deaths. Additionally, in the past five years, the percentage of New Yorkers without health insurance decreased dramatically. New York was also acknowledged for an increase in rates of HPV immunization among girls aged 13 to 17 over the past several years.

America's Health Ranking, which is published by the United Health Foundation, is the longest running annual state-by-state assessment of the nation's health. The report analyzes a comprehensive set of behaviors, policies, community and environmental conditions, and clinical care data to produce a holistic view of America's health. The information is designed to help policymakers at the local, state and national levels measure progress, identify emerging health trends and promote actions to improve public health.

The rankings are based on the World Health Organization definition of health: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." State scores are calculated using 35 measures of public health including the numbers of drug deaths, and rates of obesity, cigarette smoking and preventable hospitalizations.

Massachusetts was ranked first in the nation, overtaking Hawaii, which had been in the top spot for years. Nationwide, the report revealed a third year of rising rates of premature death as well as increases in cardiovascular and drug deaths. The report also noted dramatic variations in the numbers of health care providers across the country.

To see the report, visit: