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Health Care State Rankings 2004 Names

New Hampshire the Nation’s Healthiest State

Mississippi Finishes Last

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LAWRENCE, KS. New Hampshire today was named the nation’s Healthiest State, knocking off perennial winner Vermont. The award was announced in Health Care State Rankings 2004, an annual reference book of state health statistics published by Morgan Quitno Press of Lawrence, Kansas. New Hampshire previously had earned the honor in 1995 and 2000. There was no upset at the opposite end of the rankings scale where Mississippi finished last for the fifth consecutive year.

“New Hampshire has an impressive health care record,” said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press. “It has the nation’s lowest teen birth rate, the lowest infant mortality rate and one of the highest childhood immunization rates in the country.”

The 12th annual Healthiest State Award is based on 21 health-related factors from Health Care State Rankings 2004, an annual reference book that compares the 50 United States in more than 500 health care categories. Factors considered include infant mortality rates, the percent of population not covered by health insurance, per capita expenditures for health care, percent of population lacking access to primary medical care, childhood immunization rates, and percent of adults who smoke.

"Our award reflects which states’ citizens have the best access to health care providers, affordable health care services and a generally healthy population," Morgan said. “While some may take issue with our findings, we believe they provide an interesting statistical match-up of how states are doing in regard to health care.”

Following New Hampshire were last year’s winner Vermont in second place, Hawaii in third, Iowa in fourth and Minnesota in fifth. Bringing up the end of the rankings scale were Mississippi in last place, New Mexico in 49th, Louisiana in 48th, Alabama in 47th and South Carolina in 46th place.

The Healthiest State Award is one of five designations announced annually by Morgan Quitno Press in conjunction with the publication of its Health Care State Rankings reference book. The company's other annual announcements designate the nation’s Safest City and Metro Area, the Most Livable State, the Safest and Most Dangerous States and the Smartest State. Each of these other awards and designations is based on data from annual Morgan Quitno reference publications.

Additional information about the Healthiest State Award, including rankings for all 50 states, a list of factors used to determine the results and an explanation of methodology, is available directly from Morgan Quitno Press at or by calling (785) 841-3534.


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