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ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Minnesota is the healthiest of the 50 states for the ninth time since 1990, the United Health Foundation, a public-private research group, said.
Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont were tops for low rates of poverty and premature deaths, safer-than-average drivers, spending on public health, low rates of death from heart disease and low number of residents without health insurance. Although healthiness has increased in every state over 15 years, Minnesota has never ranked lower than second in the annual survey.
Still, 23 percent of Minnesotans are considered obese.
"We are honored to be No. 1 in health again," said Gov. Tim Pawlenty. "It takes hard work by many people to achieve our overall good health, including public health professionals, health care providers, non-profit organizations and citizens."
Minnesota also was in the top 10 for low rate of motor vehicle deaths.
Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi were the least healthy states, according to the 2004 edition of America's Health: State Health Rankings.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.