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N.J. population getting healthier, according to UnitedHealth Foundation rankings

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New Jersey showed signs of having a healthier population in 2016, according to the UnitedHealth Foundation's America's Health Rankings released in December.

New Jersey made it into the Top 10, ranked at No. 9 and up two spots from the previous year.

According to the statement from the foundation:

  • New Jersey has the third-lowest percentage of smokers in the nation at 13.5 percent;
  • The percentage of adults who are obese dropped for the first time in many years, from 26.9 percent in 2015 to 25.6 percent in 2016;
  • New Jersey has the second-lowest rate of infant mortality in the country;
  • New Jersey has the fourth-lowest rate of infectious disease in the country.

But there is still room for improvement in some trouble areas.

As noted in Gov. Chris Christie’s State of the State address, drug addiction remains a problem, with New Jersey being on par with the national average of 14 drug deaths per 100,000 population, according to the report.

Physical inactivity increased from 23.3 percent in 2015 to 27.2 percent in 2016, and nearly 10 percent of the population still lacks health care insurance coverage.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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