The health category in the Best States for Gender Equality analysis looks at gender disparities in three metrics: physical health, mental health and health care coverage. Women tended to be covered at higher rates than men, but that protection didn’t translate into better self-reported health outcomes.
States in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region generally saw high performance scores in the health category. Illinois received the best score, while its neighbor, Michigan, fared the worst.
In nearly every state, women more frequently self-reported having some form of health care coverage than men. Nationally, about 91% of women had coverage compared to around 87% of men.
Conversely, men came out ahead in terms of mental and physical health status. In every state, men more often self-reported experiencing zero days of mental distress than women. And in all but four states (Hawaii, South Dakota, New Hampshire and West Virginia), women reported a “fair or poor” health status at higher rates than men.