Healthier Iowa: Ranked 14th Healthiest State

Published: Jan. 28, 2016 at 9:23 AM CST
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Iowa moved up two spots in 2015 to become the 14th healthiest state in the nation, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The annual rankings look at the overall physical and mental health of a state's residents, based on several factors. Governor Terry Branstad announced a goal of making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation when launching the Blue Zones program in 2011. At the time, Iowa ranked 16th in the survey.

According to this year's rankings, Iowa's overall score improved in all elements except community. Iowa's highest rank was in financial well-being, at fifth. Iowa ranked last in fruit and vegetable consumption and ranked 38th in obesity and 36th in use of smokeless tobacco.

Thirteen communities including Algona, Cedar Falls, Fairfield, Harlan, Marion, Mason City, Muscatine, Oskaloosa, Sioux City, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Waterloo and Woodbine have achieved Blue Zones Community® certification. Iowa City and Cedar Rapids are working toward certification in early 2016.

Hawaii topped the list of healthiest states. The rest of the top ten included Alaska, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, Arizona and California.

West Virginia ranked 50th, followed by Kentucky.