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How healthy is your state?

/ Source: WebMD

What's the state of your health? Odds are, it's better if you live in New Hampshire than in Mississippi.

Those odds come from the annual "Healthiest State Award" given each year by Morgan Quitno Press. Every year, the company analyzes a wide range of statistics and ranks the 50 United States.

Drum roll, please! This year's healthiest state: New Hampshire, which surged past perennial winner Vermont.

And keeping its rank as the least healthy state in the Union for the fifth year in a row: Mississippi.

Morgan Quitno ranks states according to 21 criteria. These include three "positive" factors:

Beds in community hospitals per 100,000 population Percent of children age 19-35 months who got all their recommended vaccinations Rate of safety belt use

And there were 18 negative criteria:

Percentage of low-weight births Teen birth rate Percentage of mothers getting late or no prenatal care Death rate Infant mortality rate Cancer death rate (age adjusted) Suicide rate (age adjusted) Percentage of population not covered by health insurance State spending on health care as a percentage of gross state product Per-capita personal health costs Rate of new cancer cases AIDS rate Sexually transmitted diseases rate Percentage of population without access to primary care Percentage of population who are binge drinkers Percentage of adults who smoke Percentage of adults who are obese Number of days in past month when physical health was "not good"

Do you wonder where your state ranks? Complete information is available from Morgan Quitno Press. Here are their 2004 rankings:

New Hampshire. Last year: 2
Vermont. Last year: 1
Hawaii. Last year: 8
Iowa. Last year: 4
Minnesota. Last year: 5
Utah. Last year: 9
Nebraska. Last year: 3
Massachusetts. Last year: 6
Maine. Last year: 7
Connecticut. Last year: 11
New Jersey. Last year: 16
North Dakota. Last year: 10
Washington. Last year: 12
California. Last year: 14
Oregon. Last year: 19
Wyoming. Last year: 20
Kansas. Last year: 15
Rhode Island. Last year: 17
South Dakota. Last year: 13
Idaho. Last year: 21
Wisconsin. Last year: 23
Virginia. Last year: 22
Montana. Last year: 18
Ohio. Last year: 26
Michigan. Last year: 28
Pennsylvania. Last year: 24
Colorado. Last year: 25
Indiana. Last year: 27
Kentucky. Last year: 31
North Carolina. Last year: 29
Illinois. Last year: 32
Maryland. Last year: 35
New York. Last year: 33
West Virginia. Last year: 30
Alaska. Last year: 36
Tennessee. Last year: 37
Missouri. Last year: 34
Arkansas. Last year: 43
Oklahoma. Last year: 40
Arizona. Last year: 41
Florida. Last year: 44
Georgia. Last year: 42
Texas. Last year: 39
Delaware. Last year: 38
Nevada. Last year: 45
South Carolina. Last year: 48
Alabama. Last year: 47
Louisiana. Last year: 49
New Mexico. Last year: 46
Mississippi. Last year: 50