The greatest health strengths and challenges in California

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

California is ranked 22nd in the country for overall health – a decline from its ranking of 12 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

California health struggles

  • Low percentage of low birthweight infants
  • Low prevalence of multiple chronic conditions
  • High supply of mental health providers
  • 23% increase in flu vaccination coverage from 33.8% to 41.5% of adults between 2018 and 2021

California health challenges

  • High economic hardship index score
  • Low supply of primary care providers
  • High percentage of households experiencing severe housing problems
  • 43% increase in drug deaths from 15.7 to 22.4 deaths per 100,000 population between 2019 and 2020
  • 36% increase in mental health distress from 10.6% to 14.4% of adults between 2016 and 2021

What this means for employers

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

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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