CT again among healthiest states overall, but with big areas of concern

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Connecticut ranked 4th healthiest among states in this year’s America’s Health Ranking, from the United Health Foundation. We were the best state in climate policies, childhood immunizations, and adult dental visits. But we were in the bottom on other indicators.

Connecticut is in a very healthy region of the US, with New Hampshire (#1), Massachusetts (#2), Vermont (#3), high school completion (#25), residential segregation, and Rhode Island (#8).

Despite our relative health, there are large areas of concern:

  • We are 30th in the nation in preventable hospitalizations of Medicare beneficiaries; this could explain some of our very high costs.
  • We have lost ground in the number of primary care providers per capita; we are now 24th in the nation. While Connecticut lost 17% of primary care providers per capita between September 2022 and September 2023, the US average dropped 13%. In good news, almost nine in ten of us have a dedicated healthcare provider (9th among states).
  • While we are 6th in the US in the percent of adults who exercise, still 21% of us are physically inactive (21st in the nation).
  • We still have a drug overdose problem. We are 41st among states in drug deaths.
  • While we are 5th among states in premature deaths (years lost before age 75), we are 11th in premature death disparities.
  • Despite having the best climate policies in the US, we are 16th in the percent of our population that is at risk due to climate change.
  • Particularly concerning is the rise in state residents avoiding care due to cost from 7.4% in 2021 to 9.2% last year, placing us 17th in the nation. Social determinants of health are a problem for Connecticut residents – food insecurity (#16), and income inequality (#43).

Unfortunately, we are 31st in the US in spending on public health to address these issues.

Indicators CT excelled at – in top 10Indicators CT needs to work on – in the bottom 10
Childhood immunizations (#1)Severe housing problems (#40)
Adult dental visits (#1)Drug deaths (#41)
Colorectal cancer screening (#3)Income inequality (#43)
Non-medical drug use (#4)Housing with lead risk (#46)
Teen births (#4)Renewable energy (#48)
Adult smoking (#4) 
Fruit and vegetable consumption (#5) 
Premature death (#5) 
Flu vaccination (#5) 
Adults who exercise (#6) 
Air pollution (#6) 
Occupational fatalities (#6) 
Adverse childhood experiences (#6) 
Number of mental health providers (#7) 
High speed internet (#8) 
HPV vaccination (#8) 
4th grade reading (#9) 
Drinking water violations (#9) 
Adults with a dedicated healthcare provider (#9) 
Uninsured (#10) 
Frequent mental distress (#10) 
Obesity (#10) 
Number of dental care providers (#10)