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Wisconsin ranked 16th healthiest state in U.S.; down from 2011

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - More states are becoming healthier than Wisconsin.

The United Health Foundation says the Badger State ranked 16th in the overall health of its residents this year. That’s down from Number 12 a year ago.

The report gives Wisconsin high marks in some areas – including the nation’s top high school graduation rate at 91 percent. The state also has the nation’s 6th-lowest percentage of uninsured residents, and it has the 11th-lowest rate for diabetes.

But the Health Foundation says Wisconsin also has the country’s highest rate for binge drinking – and it has the highest obesity rate for African-Americans, at just under 50 percent.

Also, the Badger State has the largest increase in the percentage of kids living in poverty – 21 percent this year, compared to 13 percent in 2011. And Wisconsin spends the lowest per person on public health functions.

The report says Americans are living longer due to medical advances – but unhealthy behavior and preventable illnesses still threaten the nation’s quality of life.

Vermont is the healthiest state in this year’s rankings. Mississippi and Louisiana are tied as the least healthy.

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