Kentucky moves up three spots in America’s Health Rankings report

America’s Health Rankings, released by United Health Foundation, show Kentucky continues to struggle with many health measures, but has moved up three spots from the 2016 report, to 42nd from 45th.

The annual report ranks states based on 35 measures of behaviors, community and environment, policy, clinical care and outcomes data. Kentucky earned its highest ranking, 16th, in measures under the policy category and its lowest in behaviors and health outcomes, at 47th and 46th respectively. Kentucky ranked 39th in clinical care measures, and 26th in the community and environment category. The highest ranking Kentucky has achieved since 1990 was 39th in 2008.

The top five states were Hawaii, Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire. Highlights include:

  • In the past year, HPV immunization among females aged 13 to 17 years increased 40 percent from 26.8 percent to 37.5 percent.
  • In the past two years, lack of health insurance decreased 24 percent from 15.0 percent to 11.4 percent of the population.
  • In the past year, diabetes increased 18 percent from 10.6 percent to 12.5 percent of adults.
  • In the past 10 years, cardiovascular deaths decreased 21 percent from 378.7 to 298.1 per 100,000 population.
  • In the past 20 years, violent crime decreased 55 percent from 463 to 210 offenses per 100,000 population.


  • High rate of high school graduation
  • Low violent crime rate
  • Low prevalence of excessive drinking


  • High rate of preventable hospitalizations
  • High prevalence of smoking
  • High rate of cancer deaths