Despite some poor grades, NJ ranks 4th nationally for health of women and kids
On a list of all 50 states, New Jersey ranks No. 4 for the overall health of women and children in 2022.
But, according to the rankings released by United Health Foundation, there are quite a few measures that present a lot of room for improvement for the Garden State.
The annual report looks at dozens of measures across key areas: social and economic factors, physical environment, clinical care, behaviors, and health outcomes.
In the report, New Jersey posts a top-five showing in a number of measures, including graduation rates and poverty rates among women, and early education and food sufficiency among children.
At nearly 17 deaths per 100,000 children aged 1 to 19, New Jersey's child mortality ranks third best. New Jersey's infant mortality rate ranks second best.
According to the report, vaccination against the most common sexually transmitted infection, human papillomavirus, has been on the rise among individuals aged 14 to 17 in New Jersey.
In the report, New Jersey ranks No. 1 for "climate change policies," and No. 3 for both smoking among adults and tobacco use among youth.
Despite New Jersey's pleasant overall ranking, the Garden State appears near the bottom of the pack across several measures.
For example, physical activity among New Jersey kids ranks 46th nationwide, according to the report. Unemployment among women, the report finds, ranks 47th.
The report also cites a high prevalence of alcohol use among youth and a high percentage of households experiencing severe housing problems.
Between 2014-2016 and 2018-2020, the rate of drug deaths among women aged 20 to 44 jumped 73% in New Jersey, according to the report.
New Jersey overall ranks No. 1 for "social and economic factors" among children, No. 2 overall for "health outcomes" among women, and No. 3 overall for "behaviors" among women.
New Jersey ranks 50th in the category of "physical environment," with poor scores related to drinking water violations and housing with lead risk.