Tennessee ranks 44th Healthiest State

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To mark 30 years of America’s Health Rankings, the 2019 Annual Report also shows that over the past three decades, the nation has accomplished meaningful progress in improving the health of communities through long-term public health efforts like decreasing rates of smoking and infant mortality. With this progress, our nation continues to face challenges related to growing rates of obesity and diabetes, and more recent challenges with rising rates of suicide, drug deaths and premature death.
Health Challenges in Tennessee
• Tennessee ranks No. 46 in the nation for smoking, with a rate of more than 20 percent among adults.
• The state ranks 45th for cancer deaths, cardiovascular deaths and diabetes.
• Though Tennessee ranks No. 8 in the nation for excessive drinking, the rate of excessive drinking among adults increased 10 percent in the last year, from 14.3 percent to 15.7 percent of adults.
• In the past 10 years, drug deaths increased 58 percent from 15.4 to 24.3 deaths per 100,000 population. The state’s 2019 ranking for drug deaths is 38.
Bright spots for Tennessee include:
• Improvements in air pollution. Since 2003, air pollution decreased 50 percent from 14.9 to 7.4 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter.
• In the past two years, mental health providers increased 11 percent from 138.2 to 153.0 per 100,000 population. (The state ranks 45th for availability of mental health providers.)
•The state ranks No. 3 for high school graduation, with nearly 90 percent of students graduating.