DEFINITION: Health Index by state. "The Healthiest State designation is awarded based on 21 factors chosen from the year 2005 edition of our annual reference book, Health Care State Rankings. These factors reflect access to health care providers, affordability of health care and a generally healthy population. All 21 factors are the same as last year. The 21 factors were divided into two groups: those that are ‚Äúnegative‚Ä? for which a high ranking would be considered bad for a state, and those that are ‚Äúpositive‚Ä? for which a high ranking would be considered good for a state. Rates for each of the 21 factors were processed through a formula that measures how a state compares to the national average for a given category. The positive and negative nature of each factor was taken into account as part of the formula. Once these computations were made, the factors then were weighted (factors were weighted equally.) These weighted scores were then added together to get a state‚Äôs final score (‚ÄúSUM‚Ä? on the table above.) This way, states are assessed based on how they stack up against the national average. The end result is that the farther below the national average a state‚Äôs health ranking is, the lower (and less healthy) it ranks. The farther above the national average, the higher (and healthier) a state ranks." - Morgan Quitno Press
DEFINITION: Age-Adjusted Death Rate for HIV Disease, 2002. Age-adjusted rates per 100,000 U.S. standard population. Populations used for computing death rates are postcensal estimates based on the 2000 census estimated as of July 1, 2002. Since death rates are affected by the population composition of a given area, age-adjusted death rates should be used for comparisons between areas because they control for differences in population composition. U.S., state and territory data are deaths for 2002.