The greatest health strengths and challenges in South Dakota

South Dakota is ranked 24th in the country for overall health – an improvement from a ranking of 25 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

South Dakota health strengths

  • Low prevalence of non-medical drug use
  • Low prevalence of frequent physical distress
  • High adult flu vaccination rate
  • 22% increase in HPV among adolescents ages 13 to 17 from 61.2% to 74.7% between 2019 and 2021

South Dakota health challenges

  • High racial disparity in premature death rates
  • High prevalence of excessive drinking
  • High occupational fatality rate
  • 19% increase in premature death from 7,400 to 8,805 years lost before age 75 per 100,000 population between 2018 and 2020
  • 16% increase in obesity from 33% to 38.4% of adults between 2019 and 2021

What this means for employers

Employers who do business or have employees living in the state of South Dakota 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 South Dakota

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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