The greatest health strengths and challenges in Washington

Washington is ranked 9th in the country for overall health – which is the same ranking it received 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

Washington health strengths

  • Low premature death rate
  • Low economic hardship index score
  • Low prevalence of cigarette smoking
  • 45% decrease in food insecurity from 14.3% to 7.9% of households between 2011 and 2013, as well as 2019 and 2021

Washington health challenges

  • High racial disparity in premature death rates
  • High prevalence of frequent mental distress
  • High levels of air pollution
  • 12% increase in frequent mental distress from 13.7% to 15.4% of adults between 2020 and 2021

What this means for employers

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

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.