The greatest health strengths and challenges in Washington, D.C.

America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report presented by the United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association, revealed a number of health strengths and challenges in Washington, D.C. Below is a summary of the positive and negative factors that contributed to its health report.1

Washington, D.C. health strengths

  • Low prevalence of obesity
  • High adolescent HPV vaccination rate
  • Low uninsured rate
  • 32% decrease in food insecurity from 13.2% to 9% of households between 2013 and 2015, as well as 2019 and 2021

Washington, D.C. health challenges

  • High prevalence of excessive drinking
  • High prevalence of non-medical drug use
  • High income inequality
  • 20% increase in premature death from 8,566 to 10,289 years lost before age 75 per 100,000 population between 2019 and 2020
  • 12% decrease in fourth grade reading proficiency from 30.1% to 26.5% of fourth grade public school students between 2019 and 2022

What this means for employers

Employers who do business or have employees living in Washington, D.C. 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 Washington, D.C. 

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

Breaking down the findings from America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report

The latest findings highlight some of the greatest health challenges and strengths across the nation, with racial and ethnic disparities coming into sharp focus. 

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