How Healthy Is Your City, State or Country? 40 Web Apps & Infographics to Find Out

by Linda on July 21, 2010

When you think of health, do you think about weight gain or environment or even financial health? All these topics can connect, as the poorest among the population often cannot afford adequate necessities — an issue which can affect health. The environment affects our health as well as obesity and stress. In these 40 updated Web apps and infographics about local, regional and national health, you can learn more about these topics and how they might affect you in your neck of the woods.


  1. America’s Fattest States – 2009: These colorful charts show the nation’s obesity rates in 2009. Obesity costs the nation $75 billion in direct costs each year.
  2. Causes of Obesity: A simple infographic that shows the main factors that can contribute to obesity, including environmental, social and behavioral.
  3. Eating Out: While this “From Bad to Worse Infographic” doesn’t rate states, the restaurants listed here exist in all U.S. states.
  4. F as in Fat 2009: This infographic from the Trust for America’s Health is included, as it offers a state-by-state comparison at the bottom of this linked page.
  5. Fattest States: This information graphic shows, among other statistics, that obesity is lower in states with higher concentrations of artists, musicians, entertainers, gays, lesbians and immigrants.
  6. U.S. Obesity Trends: Watch America grow fat through an animated infographic, or learn more about how obesity affects diabetes and more through this Center for Disease Control site.
  7. What is the Current State of Obesity in America? This infographic shows obesity broken down by race, age and state and offers statistics on the cost to the U.S. as well as how obesity contributes to illness.

Dirty WaterEnvironmental Issues

  1. Dirty Water: This infographic shows the five cleanest and the five dirtiest U.S. water utilities. If you like clean tap water, don’t use Fort Worth’s Arlington Water plan.
  2. Glass Half Empty: This infographic focuses on water wars, but also contains interesting statistics on the countries that have the best and worst water.
  3. HealthMap: This interactive global map shows current outbreaks and disease issues in real time. You also can use this information graphic on your mobile device.
  4. How Cars Are Killing Us Around the World: Somehow our brains parse and suppress the fact that our chances of dying behind the wheel (or even just in the passenger seat) of a car are around 1 in 100.
  5. Natural Pest Control: If you don’t want to share your abode with insects or animals that can spread disease, this graphic shows how you can eliminate your problem naturally.
  6. The Future of Food: Today, demand for food fueled by rises in worldwide consumption of meat and protein is again outpacing farmers ability to keep up.
  7. The Most Polluted Places in the World: In sum, 25 percent of all deaths in the developing world are attributable to environmental factors. Interestingly, the U.S. is not included in this graphic.
  8. The Polluted Polis: In contrast to the graphic above, this image illustrates the most polluted areas in the U.S. Riverside, CA leads the chart in the most unhealthy days per year.
  9. The Threat of a Global Water Shortage: It’s easy to take for granted how much water it takes to produce some of the world’s most consumed products.
  10. Top 20 Carbon Emitting Countries: This infographic shows that the U.S. is number two behind China in producing carbon emissions.
  11. Visualizing the BP Oil Disaster: This map is updated regularly, and allows users to overlay the oil from the Gulf disaster onto various regions to help visualize the extant of the oil on the surface of the Gulf.

Our Favorite DrugsDiseases and Addictions

  1. America’s Problem Drugs: This psychedelic poster accounts for a number of drugs across the U.S. and names states that are high users of each drug, both legal and illegal.
  2. Cancer Worldwide: This infographic shows that cancer accounts for 7.4 million deaths worldwide, that lung cancer is the leading killer and that 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  3. Chances of Death in America: Choose the middle link on this page, which takes the popular minesweeper game and turns it into a simulation of actual probability of death in America.
  4. Depression rates around the world: This graphic shows that the U.S. has the highest diagnosed depression rates worldwide, followed by the Ukraine. The lowest rates are found in Nigeria, but you might wonder if there is a larger issue involved with the ability to pay for diagnosis in this case.
  5. Leukemia Rates by State: This map reflects 2006 statistics about the number of people who developed or who died from leukemia that year.
  6. Malaria: This set of information design posters illustrates how concentrated and deadly malaria is in Africa compared to the rest of the world.
  7. National Mental Health Statistics: This map shows the total psychiatric inpatient and residential treatment beds per 100,000 civilian population in number by state, 2000.
  8. Progress Against Polio: In 2008, only four countries in the world remained polio-endemic. Persistent pockets remain in northern India, northern Nigeria and along the border between Afghanistan and Pakiston.
  9. State Pandemic Plans: Click on your state to learn more about the pandemic plans that currently are in place for residents.
  10. STDs in America: More than 65 million people currently currently living in the U.S. are living with an incurable sexually transmitted disease (std). Learn which states hold more documents carriers.
  11. The Global Burden of Tuberculosis: Along with malaria and aids, tuberculosis bacterium (TB) is one of the three diseases closely linked to poverty.
  12. The Global Tobacco Trade: This popular infographic shows how tobacco travels around the globe, how it affects you, and the total number of chemicals contained in cigarette smoke.
  13. The Truth About Alcoholism: This infographic breaks down the incidence of alcoholism by state and country. Wisconsin holds the record for the highest rate of alcohol abuse and West Virginia and Utah have the least amount of heavy drinkers.
  14. Travel Restrictions for People with HIV: In the past year, both China and America have lifted 20-odd-year bans stopping individuals with HIV from entering, but 51 countries still restrict movement in some form based on a person’s HIV status.

A Plan for all SeasonsOther Issues

  1. A Plan for All Seasons: This infographic covers the 10 most common fruits and veggies consumed and breaks down their availability by region.
  2. Affording Health Care: This infographic shows across geographies, income and education levels, between 1997 and 2006, that a growing number of Americans avoided health care due to cost.
  3. CDC Data and Statistics: You can find a vast resource of state-by-state information at the Center for Disease Control for all diseases, healthy living and more.
  4. Health Care Expenditures per Capita by State of Residence, 2004: This map shows that the bulk of health care expenditures per capita in the U.S. occur mainly in the northeast.
  5. Health Care Spending: U.S. vs. Abroad: The U.S. spent more on out-patient and in-patient care, administration and medical goods than any other country in 2007.
  6. How Much Are My Organs Worth? While organ donations are on the rise, so is organ trafficking. Find out what organs are worth around the world.
  7. Total Monthly Wellness Spending: A true health nut might look at this infographic and shake his or her head. One reason among others: readers might question why it seems healthy to spend more money on drugs and supplements.
  8. Uninsured in America: A look at those individuals who do not carry health insurance and where they are located in the U.S. by age, gender and citizenship status.

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