Guess What Kentucky is Ranked 47th at Now?


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Kentucky ranks No. 47 overall in the latest iteration of America’s Health Rankings, a ranking provided by United Health Foundation.

Who’d we beat? Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi were Nos. 48, 49 and 50, in that order. But we did worse than last year, when we ranked No. 45 overall.

For all the talk of Medicaid expansion and increased access to health care coming from Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear this year, it seems that we ought to be going the other way. But in all fairness, it could be that those changing circumstances will take a bit to be reflected in a ranking such as this one.

That cigarette habit of ours is still proving hard to shake. About 26 percent of our adults smoke (ranking us No. 49 in the country in that measure). In the best states, that figure is around 10 percent. That said, our smoking percentage has declined by 9 percent in the last two years.

Also, 31.8 percent of our children live in poverty — the worst in the country. And we had the worst rate in the nation for preventable hospitalizations.

There were a couple of bright spots in there. Only 13 percent of our adults binge drink (ranking us No. 10.) I find that amazing, considering we have a huge distilling industry in this state. North Dakota was the binge-drinking-est state in the nation, according to this study. Go figure.

Other bright spots: We have the eighth best ranking in terms of our rate of violent crimes. And we ranked 16th in coverage for child immunizations.

Read the article online.