In its recent survey of how healthcare varies from state to state, WalletHub determined the states with the most and least numbers of dentists per capita as well as the states with the highest and lowest percentages of adults who have not visited the dentist in the past year.
According to the survey, Utah has the most dentists per capita, followed by the District of Columbia, Oregon, Montana, and Massachusetts. Louisiana had the least number of dentists per capita, preceded by Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
Connecticut had the lowest percentage of adults with no dental visit in the past year, followed by the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. Louisiana had the highest percentage, preceded by Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
Dentists per capita and percentage of adults who have not seen a dentist were among the factors WalletHub used in calculating the states with the best and worst overall healthcare systems. Other factors included:
- Average monthly insurance premiums
- Hospital beds per capita
- Physicians per capita
- Percentage of medical residents retained
- Physician Medicare acceptance rates
- Percentage of insured adults
- Percentage of insured children
- Infant mortality rates
- Cancer rates
- Heart disease rates
According to WalletHub, Minnesota offers the best healthcare overall, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, and Vermont. Alaska was ranked last, preceded by North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Arkansas.
WalletHub notes that 87.6% of the population has a regular place to go for healthcare, but the cost and quality of that care varies widely from state to state. Also, the average American spends more than $10,000 per year on personal healthcare, or 17.9% of national GDP.
Higher costs don’t translate to better results, WalletHub says, as the United States lags behind several other wealthy nations on measures such as health coverage, life expectancy, and disease burden, or longevity and quality of life.