North Carolina ranks in the lower third of the United States in health rankings. That's according to the United Health Foundation, which conducted a study based on such things as personal behavior and the environment people live and work in. Minnesota tops the healthiest list for the fourth year in a row, followed by Vermont and New Hampshire. North Carolina ranks 36th. The challenges listed for our state include a low high school graduation rate, a high infant mortality rate and a high prevalence of smoking. Some strengths include ready access to adequate prenatal care and high immunization coverage.