New Mexico lost ground in a national assessment of the health status of the states. The reason: worsening violence.
The 2015 edition of America’s Health Rankings, published by the United Health Foundation, dropped New Mexico from 33rd place in 2014 to 37th place, the second-largest year-over-year decline of any state after Oregon. United Health Foundation praised New Mexico for improving childhood immunizations and HPV immunization among adolescent girls. However, the report said, “Violent crime increased 10 percent from last year.”
There were 613 murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults per 100,000 population in New Mexico, the worst rate in the nation except for Alaska, according to the foundation, which based its assessment on FBI statistics.
The FBI warns against using its data to compare states. The Journal reported in January that although New Mexico was ranked as the second-worst state for violent crime last year, an FBI spokesman cautioned that because the bureau relies on states to report data and states count on reports from victims of crime, the information available can be incomplete.