The United Health Foundation released their annual America’s Health Rankings yesterday, and Missouri improved from 40th to 38th. The 2018 ranking is a part of the 29th annual report, and this annual assessment factors in 4 determinants of health categories, as well as health outcomes. The four determinants are: Behaviors, Community and Environment, Policy and Clinical care.

“The increase in Missouri’s health ranking is a testament to the work of many partners throughout Missouri,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Department of Health and Senior Services Director. “While this is a good step forward, there is still work to be done. We are excited to work with Governor Parson and many of our other partners throughout the state to build upon the work and conversations started during healthcare week earlier this month.”

Major factors in Missouri’s ranking includes moving from 37th to 19th for percentage of adults with diabetes per 100,000 population and being ranked 21st in the number of children aged 19 to 35 months immunized.

Overall national trends which are concerning are the increase in drug deaths and premature deaths throughout the United States. Concerning for Missouri are the 48th rank for adolescents receiving immunizations and the 40th rank for percent of adults who smoke.

“We know prevention messaging can make a difference, since this year we have given 100,000 more flu shots than we had by this time last year in part due to a campaign launched in collaboration with the Governor and First Lady,” said Williams. “I believe this campaign is saving lives.”

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.