New Report Reveals a Complex Picture of Americans’ Health

December 07, 2021 | 4 min Read

The early effects of COVID-19 on Americans’ health and well-being have been complex and nuanced, according to the United Health Foundation’s 2021 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. The report, which includes new, publicly available data, showed a drastic spike in the U.S. death rate between 2019 and 2020. However, reversals of longer-term trends across several measures — including an overall increase in high health status among adults that was disproportionate across racial and ethnic groups, as well as a decrease in the prevalence of cancer — reveal the need for continued, in-depth discussion and analysis of the pandemic’s impact on the nation’s population.

“In this year’s report – which provides a comprehensive look at our nation’s overall health – we begin to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has had both direct and indirect impacts on health and health trends. The report also demonstrates an urgent and ongoing need to further examine and discuss these findings and how to best address Americans’ most pressing health needs.”

– Dr. Rhonda Randall, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer,
UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual


America’s Health Rankings 2021 Annual Report

America’s Health Rankings 2021 Annual Report examines 81 measures from 30 unique data sources to understand the impact that social, economic, environmental and other factors have on health, as well as trends that reflect the nation’s changing health over time. UnitedHealth Group plans to use the findings of this report as a critical source of information to fulfill its mission of making the health system work better for everyone.

Key Findings

"The pandemic has shown us how important it is to have a strong public health infrastructure to continue to address the challenges we face. It is my hope that we use this data to build a public health system that can work to protect all Americans and address health inequities."

Dr. Georges C. Benjamin Executive Director of the American Public Health Association


Helping to Improve Health Outcomes

Explore UnitedHealth Group’s annual Sustainability Report to learn more about our efforts to help improve health outcomes and reduce the burden of disease.