The greatest health strengths and challenges in North Carolina

The recently released “America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report” uncovered several health strengths and challenges in North Carolina.


North Carolina is ranked 30th in the country for overall health – an improvement from a ranking of 36 in 20191 – according to America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report. Below is a summary of the positive and negative factors that contributed to this ranking.2

North Carolina health strengths

  • Low prevalence of frequent mental distress
  • Low Black/white residential segregation
  • Low levels of air pollution
  • 37% decrease in food insecurity from 17.3% to 10.9% of households between 2011 and 2013, as well as 2019 and 2021
  • 22% decrease in smoking from 18.5% to 14.4% of adults between 2019 and 2021

North Carolina health challenges

  • High premature death rate
  • Low supply of dental care providers
  • High uninsured rate
  • 20% increase in firearm deaths from 13.3 to 16 deaths per 100,000 population between 2019 and 2020

What this means for employers

Employers who do business or have employees living in the state of North Carolina may want to consider programs or benefits that can help support their employee population and guide them to better health decisions.

Learn more about the factors impacting the health of North Carolina.

The real people behind these numbers are what make the work ahead so critically important. Despite the challenges ahead, I remain optimistic that the health system can rise to the moment to address long-standing disparities and improve the health and well-being of all Americans, for this generation and the next.

— Patricia L. Lewis, Chief Sustainability Officer at UnitedHealth Group

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