Healthiest States in the U.S.: Where Does Massachusetts Rank?

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Itโ€™s now been four years since the country was in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) event that changed how many people lead their lives. In the years since, Americans, especially Millennials and Gen Z, have started paying particular attention to their health โ€“ both mental and physical. took a timeout from Massachusetts sportsbooks to find out where the Bay State ranks among the healthiest states in the country. Our team used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association and to create a ranking system of how healthy states are based on life expectancy, obesity percentages, physical activity percentages and smoking percentages. 

Hawaii came out first in our rankings, but Massachusetts was not far behind.

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Healthiest States in the U.S.

Rank/State Life Exp. Obesity % Active % Smoking %
1. Hawaii 80.7 (1st)25.9% (2nd)80% (T-5th)12.8% (4th)
2. California 79 (T-4th) 28.1% (5th)80% (T-5th)11.3% (2nd)
3. Utah 78.6 (9th)31.1% (13th)83% (T-1st)8.9% (1st)
4. Colorado 78.3 (12th) 25% (1st)83% (T-1st)14.6% (11th)
5. Massachusetts 79 (T-4th) 27.2% (4th)79% (T-13th) 13.7% (T-5th)
6. Vermont 78.8 (T-7th)26.8% (3rd)82% (T-3rd)15.8% (18th)
7. New Hampshire 79 (T-4th)30.2% (8th)80% (T-5th)15.7% (T-16th)
8. Connecticut 78.4 (T-10th)30.6% (10th)77% (T-18th)12.7% (3rd)
9. Washington 79.2 (2nd)31.7% (15th)82% (T-3rd)16.4% (T-22nd)
T-10. Idaho78.4 (T-10th)33.2% (T-19th)80% (T-5th)14.3% (9th)
T-10. Minnesota 79.1 (3rd)33.6% (25th)80% (T-5th)14.5% (10th)
12. Oregon 78.8 (T-7th)30.9% (12th)80% (T-5th)16.1% (20th)
13. New Jersey 77.5 (T-19th)29.1% (6th)76% (T-24th)13.7% (T-5th)
14. Rhode Island 78.2 (13th)30.8% (11th)76% (T-24th)14.9% (12th)
15. Maryland 76.8 (T-23rd)33.2% (T-19th)78% (T-15th) 13.8% (7th)
16. New York 77.7 (T-15th) 30.1% (7th)74% (T-36th)14.1% (8th)
17. Montana 76.8 (T-23rd)30.5% (9th) 78% (T-15th) 17.2% (T-26th)
18. Wisconsin 77.7 (T-15th) 37.7% (40th)80% (T-5th)16% (19th)
T19. Nebraska 77.7 (T-15th) 35.3% (31st)76% (T-24th)15.4% (13th)
T19. Virginia 77.6 (18th)35.2% (30th)79% (T-13th)16.4% (T-22nd)
21. Arizona 76.3 (T-32nd) 33.2% (T-19th) 77%(T-18th)15.6% (15th)
22. Alaska 76.6 (29th)32.1% (16th)80% (T-5th)21% (42nd)
23. Maine 77.8 (14th)33.1% (18th) 74% (T-36th)17.3% (28th)
24. Florida 77.5 (T-19th)31.6% (14th)70% (T-45th) 16.1% (T-22nd)
25. Illinois 76.8 (T-23rd)33.4% (T-22nd) 73% (T-40th)15.5% (14th)

Massachusetts Ranks 5th Nationally

The data points go hand-in-hand. Higher rates of activity help reduce the prevalence of obesity. Low smoking and obesity rates lead to higher life expectancies.

While COVID did lead to a downturn in life expectancy in Massachusetts, which had an average of 80.4 years in 2019 to 79 the following year, the state still far surpassed the national averages of 78.8 and 77, respectively.

Across Massachusetts, fewer adults are choosing to light up. The state Department of Public Health reported the 13.7% smoking rate in 2021 was the lowest since it started tracking the data.

Other factors have played a role in Massachusetts becoming a health leader nationally. State lawmakers passed a universal health care law nearly 20 years ago that served as the model for federal reforms a few years later. Areas like the Berkshires in the west and Cape Cod in the east are attractive places for people who wish to hike, bike, jog or swim.

A good environment also helps. In its recent Best States ranking, U.S. News rated Massachusetts as having the third-best environment, with the stateโ€™s water and air quality second-best nationally.

If you liked this research item, look for other from the BetMassachusetts team, including: Most Popular Vinyl Record in Massachusetts.

USA Today photo by David Sokol.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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