The Healthiest States in the U.S., Mapped

iStock
iStock

If you live in Massachusetts, pat yourself on the back. The state is the healthiest in the nation, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings, the United Health Foundation’s annual report on public health in the United States, spotted by Thrillist. The Bay State climbed up the ladder this year from second place, unseating Hawaii, which had held the top spot for the past five years.

The United Health Foundation’s health rankings, now in their 28th year, aim to provide a benchmark for public health across the U.S. Access to healthcare varies widely depending on where you live, and the rankings hammer that point home, as you can see from the graphic below.

A map is color-coded in blues to show where states fall on healthcare rankings.
United Health Foundation

The rankings determine the results based on 35 factors including physician availability, environmental conditions, community policies, and health outcome data to score states.

The healthiest states in the nation, according to the foundation’s findings, are Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Utah, and Connecticut. Mississippi is the most unhealthy state in the nation by these measures, followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and West Virginia—underscoring previous research [PDF] that has found that the South has some of the worst public health outcomes in the nation.

Let’s say you’re looking for mental health treatment and you live in Massachusetts. You have more choice than residents of any other state when it comes to providers—there are more than 547 per 100,000 residents. Compare that to the choice in Alabama, where there are only 85 mental health providers for the same number of people. Eastern seaboard states like New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have more than 200 primary care doctors per 100,000 people, whereas Utah and Idaho have less than 100 doctors per 100,000 residents.

The rankings are meant to help states determine where they have room to improve in their public health initiatives. Where does your state fall?

[h/t Thrillist]

Every State’s Favorite Place to Spend Spring Break, Mapped

DisobeyArt, iStock via Getty Images
DisobeyArt, iStock via Getty Images

Spring break falls in March 2020 in many parts of the U.S., and if you still don't know where to go this year, check out the popular travel plans of people in your home state for some inspiration.

This map Travelocity put together using its own customer data shows the most disproportionately popular spring break destinations for residents of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It should come as no surprise that Florida cities dominate the map. Orlando was the top springtime vacation spot of 10 states, including Texas, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Miami, Tampa, and Pensacola also appear on the list.

But not everyone craves warm weather this time of year. As college students flood their state, Florida natives flee north to Chicago. And some states farther north prefer vacation spots that are decidedly not tropical. In Idaho, spring-breakers are heading to Seattle, and in West Virginia, they're booking trips to Buffalo—neither of which are cities that come to mind when you think of margaritas and bikinis. You can find the preferences of your home state in the map below.

Map of top spring break destinations.
Travelocity

Spring break may seem like a modern phenomenon, but people have been using the arrival of the season as an excuse for debauchery since ancient Roman times. You can read more about the history of spring break here.

Here's How Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Part of the Country

Andy Woodruff
Andy Woodruff

Daylight saving time was created to benefit Americans, but not every part of the country is affected equally. Within the Eastern time zone, for instance, the sun rises a whole 40 minutes earlier in New York City than it does in Detroit. To illustrate how daylight saving time impacts sunrise and sunset times around the county, cartographer Andy Woodruff published a series of helpful maps on his website.

Below, the map on the left depicts how many days of reasonable sunrise time—defined as 7 a.m. or earlier—each part of the country is getting. The regions in the yellow sections have the most days with early sunrises and the darker parts have the fewest. On the right, the second map shows how many sunsets past 5 p.m. we’re getting each year, which appear to be a lot more abundant


Next, he visualized what these sunrise and sunset times would look like if daylight saving were abolished completely, something many people have been pushing for years. While our sunset times remain pretty much the same, the mornings start to look a lot sunnier for people all over the country, especially in places like West Texas.


And for those of you who were curious, here’s what America would look like if daylight saving time were in effect year-round. While mornings would look miserable pretty much everywhere, there’d at least be plenty of sunshine to enjoy once we got off work.


You can tinker with an interactive version of the daylight saving map on Woodruff’s blog.

All images courtesy of Andy Woodruff.

This article originally ran in 2015.

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