According to the United Health Foundation’s 24th annual America’s Health Rankings, Nevada ranks 37th among all 50 states. The good news is it could always be worse, while the bad news is… it isn’t getting any better.

Nevada finds itself in the same place it was last year, 37 out of 50. Nevada continues to face the same challenges it has for decades.

  • Low high school graduation rate
  • High violent crime rate
  • Low per capita public health funding

The areas that Nevada performed well on were a low prevalence of binge drinking, moderate prevalence of diabetes, and low incidence of infectious diseases.

What is Americas Health Rankings?

Since 1990, the United Health Foundation has analyzed the health of the nation holistically, with in-depth data and analysis. Their core measurements focus on several socio-cultural and health related measurements. Their complex and thorough analysis looks at the following criteria.

Measure Definition
High School Graduation Percentage of incoming ninth graders who graduate in 4 years from a high school with a regular degree.
Violent Crime The number of murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 population.
Occupational Fatalities Number of fatalities from occupational injuries per 100,000 workers.
Smoking Percentage of adults who are current smokers.
Binge Drinking Percentage of adults who self-report having 4 or more (women) or 5 or more (men) alcoholic beverages on at least 1 occasion in the last month.
Drug Deaths The number of deaths due to drug injury of any intent (unintentional, suicide, homicide, or undetermined) per 100,000 population. (3-year average)
Obesity Percentage of adults who are obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher.
Physical Inactivity Percentage of adults who report doing no physical activity or exercise (such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening or walking) other than their regular job in the last 30 days.
Cardiovascular Deaths Number of deaths due to all cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and strokes, per 100,000 population.
Cancer Deaths Number of deaths due to all causes of cancer per 100,000 population.
Premature Deaths Number of years of potential life lost prior to age 75 per 100,000 population.
Chlamydia The number of new cases of chlamydia per 100,000 population.
Salmonella The number of newly reported cases of Salmonella per 100,000 population as reported by CDC’s Summary of Notifiable Diseases.
Pertussis The number of newly reported cases of Pertussis per 100,000 population, as reported by CDC’s Summary of Notifiable Diseases.
 Infectious Disease This is a composite measure that includes a sexually transmitted infection (chlamydia), a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection (pertussis), and a common foodborne infection (Salmonella).
Children in Poverty The percentage of persons younger than 18 years who live in households at or below the poverty threshold.
Air Pollution The average exposure of the general public to particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in size.
Lack of Health Insurance Percentage of the population that does not have health insurance privately, through their employer, or the government. Two year average.
Publich Health Funding State funding dedicated to public health as well as federal funding directed to states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Immunization of Children The percentage of children receiving recommended doses of DTaP, polio, MMR, Hib, hepatitis B, varicella, and PCV vaccines by age 19 to 35 months.
Immunization of Adolescents Percentage of adolescents aged 13 to 17 years who have received 1 dose of Tdap since the age of 10 years, 1 dose of menigococcal conjugate vaccine, and 3 doses of HPV (females).
Low Birthweight Percentage of infants weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces) at birth.
Primary Care Physicians Number of primary care physicians (including general practice, family practice, OB-GYN, pediatrics, and internal medicine) per 100,000 population.
Preventable Hospitalizations Discharge rate among the Medicare population for diagnoses that are amenable to non-hospital based care.
Dentists Dentists is the number of dentists working in dentistry per 100,000 population.
Diabetes Percentage of adults who responded yes to the question “Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?”
Poor Mental Health Days Number of days in the previous 30 days when a person indicates their activities are limited due to mental health difficulties.
Poor Physical Health Days Number of days in the previous 30 days when a person indicates their activities are limited due to physical health difficulties.
Disparity in Health Status Difference in the percent of adults without a high school degree and all others who report very good or excellent health status.
Infant Mortality Number of infant deaths (before age 1) per 1,000 live births.

Where Does Nevada Fall Short?

Nevada continues to see under 60% of their incoming 9th graders finish high school, this places Nevada dead last in graduating high school seniors. This is important to note as many of the other issues such as crime, drug deaths, lack of health insurance ,and more can be attributed to a lack of education. Without a high school diploma, less opportunities are available and poverty is almost assured. Nevada currently ranks 49th in the nation with 23% percent of the population not covered by health insurance privately, through their employer, or the government. Another area of concern are the primary care physicians available per 100,000 people. Currently, Nevada has 84.5 primary care physicians per 100,000 population, this is places Nevada at 47th of 50.

Overall, Nevada is far behind in many areas important to the nations health. Hundreds of programs across the state are looking to change this and improve care for the millions that call Nevada home.

Nevada Health Statistics at a Glance

Measure Detail National Rank
High School Graduation 57.8% Graduation Rate 50th
Violent Crime 607.6 Violent Crimes per 100,000 population 49th
Occupational Fatalities 5.1 Fatalities per 100,000 workers 31st
Smoking 18.1% of adults currently smoke  18th
Binge Drinking 15.1% self report 4+ drinks in a month 13th
Drug Deaths 20.5 deaths per 100,000 population 48th
Obesity  26.2% of adults over a body mass index of 30  17th
Physical Inactivity 21.3% of adults with no exercise in a month 18th
Cardiovascular Deaths 272 deaths per 100,000 population 35th
Cancer Deaths 192 deaths per 100,000 population 25th
Chlamydia 389 new cases per 100,000 population 22nd
Salmonella 6.6 new cases per 100,000 population 1st
Pertussis 1.3 new cases per 100,000 population 2nd
Medicaid Expenditures $715 estimated per capita medicaid expenditure (2013) 49th
Children in Poverty  22.7% of those under 18 living in poverty  35th
Children without Health Insurance 18.3 Percent of children not covered by health insurance 1st
Lack of Health Insurance 23% of adults lacking health insurance 49th
Enrolled in Medicaid 14.3% of eligible people enrolled in medicaid 44th
Registered Nurses 610 registered nurses per 100,000 population 51st
Immunization of Children 65.3% of children aged 19 to 25 months fully immunized (2012) 51st
Drug Use 9.9% of population who are illicit drug users (2011) 14th
Primary Care Physicians 84.5 primary care physicians per 100,000 population 47th
High Blood Pressure 30.8% of population has high blood pressue (2011) 26th
High Cholesterol 37.3% of population with high cholesterol (2011) 32nd
Age-adjusted Death Rate 789.7 deaths per 100,000 population (2011) 15th
Suicide Rate 18.9 deaths per 100,000 population (2011) 6th
Death Rate from Cancer 171.7 deaths per 100,000 population (2014) 31st
Deaths from Accidents 42.4 deaths per 100,000 population (2011) 32nd

Resources: United Health Foundation 2014 Annual America’s Health Rankings and Health Care in Nevada Fact Sheet