Massachusetts named healthiest state for third consecutive year
ATLANTA and BOSTON – September 12, 2023 – Sharecare (Nasdaq: SHCR), the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place, in partnership with the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), today released the annual Sharecare Community Well-Being Index 2022 state rankings report, with Massachusetts claiming the title of the healthiest state in America for the third consecutive year.
Built on more than a decade of measurement and over 5 million surveys completed to date, the nationally representative dataset comprising the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index is the most comprehensive assessment of community health in the country. As in previous years, Sharecare’s proprietary research assessed the well-being of nearly half a million Americans spanning all 50 states across individual well-being domains, including physical, social, community, purpose, and financial; and also analyzed more than 600 elements of social determinants of health (SDOH) to identify those data most associated with community health outcomes: healthcare access, food access, resource access, housing and transportation, and economic security.
Overall, well-being throughout the nation scored 60.7 out of 100, mirroring pre-pandemic levels, despite a slight decrease from last year’s average of 60.9. Nationally, physical health, social and community bonds, and sense of purpose in daily life all saw statistically significant increases. On the other hand, financial well-being experienced the most substantial decrease and the only negative shift.
“In our review of 2022 data, we found that well-being scores largely remained stable or exhibited positive trends compared to 2021; however, financial well-being emerged as a persisting issue, revealing an undercurrent of economic insecurity possibly linked to inflation and ongoing economic uncertainty, reminiscent of pre-pandemic times,” said Michael Winter, associate director of statistical programming at the Biostatistics & Epidemiology Data Analytics Center of BUSPH. “This year’s report highlights the importance of addressing all aspects of well-being, which extends beyond physical health to include financial stability and socioeconomic factors as we work together to enhance the well-being of our communities.”
The following states achieved the highest and lowest overall well-being scores in the nation according to the latest Sharecare Community Well-Being Index:
3. New Jersey
5. New York
45. New Mexico
48. West Virginia
Despite minor shifts, the states in the top 10 and bottom 10 have maintained their respective ranks over the past three years. This year’s healthiest states – Massachusetts (#1), Hawaii (#2), and New Jersey (#3) – each earned a place among the top three in the nation across several individual well-being domains, earning high scores in financial well-being, defined as managing your economic life to increase financial security and reduce stress. These states also demonstrated best-in-nation scores in key SDOH domains, with Massachusetts leading the nation in healthcare access and Hawaii standing out in housing and transportation.
On the other end of the spectrum, the states with the lowest ranks faced recurring obstacles linked to individual health risks and SDOH, with Mississippi retaining its No. 50 ranking for the fourth consecutive year. Nine of the 10 lowest-ranked states also held a bottom ten ranking for well-being in the community domain, reinforcing the importance of community connection, safety, and pride. Eight of the lowest-ranked states struggled with financial well-being, indicating a heightened sense of financial stress or inadequate resources to thrive among residents.
“While we see a general trend towards recovery in well-being levels, the data also reveals persisting disparities between states, with a notable 17.4 point difference when comparing the top and bottom-ranked states,” said Dr. Michael Rickles, vice president of research at Sharecare. “Utilizing these data and insights from the report, we have a unique ability to deepen our customers’ and partners’ understanding of individual health risks, social needs, systemic inequities, and social determinants of health impacting their populations.
Dr. Rickles added, “Recognizing person-level data within its context gives us a very powerful baseline to understand what people are doing, under what conditions, and how we should tailor recommendations for specific populations based on their unique experiences. Ultimately, the approach we’ve undertaken with the Community Well-Being Index enables us to develop and deploy multifaceted interventions to help payors, large employers, government organizations, and health systems address challenges head-on and foster healthier, more productive communities and workforces.”
To arrive at these results, Sharecare and BUSPH conducted web surveys among 493,244 U.S. residents aged 18 and older throughout 2022 and analyzed more than 600 elements of SDOH data. To read the full report and to learn about the project’s methodology, visit wellbeingindex.sharecare.com/reports.
Sharecare is the leading digital health company that helps people – no matter where they are in their health journey – unify and manage all their health in one place. Our comprehensive and data-driven virtual health platform is designed to help people, providers, employers, health plans, government organizations, and communities optimize individual and population-wide well-being by driving positive behavior change. Driven by our philosophy that we are all together better, at Sharecare, we are committed to supporting each individual through the lens of their personal health and making high-quality care more accessible and affordable for everyone. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.
About the Boston University School of Public Health
Founded in 1976, the Boston University School of Public Health is one of the top five ranked private schools of public health in the world. It offers master’s- and doctoral-level education in public health. The faculty in six departments conduct policy-changing public health research around the world, with the mission of improving the health of populations—especially the disadvantaged, underserved, and vulnerable—locally and globally.