The 10 States with the Highest Rates of Diabetes

Approximately 1 out of every 11 Americans has been diagnosed with diabetes, making it one of the nation's leading health concerns. These states have the starkest diabetes problems.

Approximately 1 out of every 11 Americans has been diagnosed with diabetes, making it one of the nation’s leading health concerns.

Each November, the president signs a proclamation declaring the month “National Diabetes Awareness Month,” which serves as a catalyst to raise public awareness of the disease and of the latest prevention and treatment research.

In his 2015 proclamation, President Barack Obama noted that more and more young adults are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the more common form, largely due to increasing obesity rates. He also noted that certain ethnic and racial groups — Hispanics, African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders – appear to face a particularly high risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.

The Affordable Care Act made coverage for diabetes prevention services mandatory for insurers, and available to patients at no additional cost. And there is some evidence the rate of diabetes in the US is beginning to plateau, though it’s likely too soon to know whether the leveling out is sustainable.

In recognition of National Diabetes Month, we took a look at state-level diabetes rates to compile the following list of the 10 states with the highest diabetes rates. Most of the data come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose latest data set is based on 2013 surveys. The diabetes rates presented are for adults, and calculated per 100 residents. We’ve also included the state’s pre-diabetic rate, and the five-year increase in rate using data from 2008. The latter is included in order to provide some indication of the general trend. However, the CDC notes that it’s difficult to precisely compare historic data to new data, because prior to 2011, the CDC relied solely on calls to landlines (and not cell phones) to compile its data. In addition to the diabetes rate information, we’ve also included the diabetes death rate for each state, which comes via the Kaiser Family Foundation.

10. Georgia

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 10.4 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +0.2

Prediabetic Rate: 6.7

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 23.0

9. North Carolina

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 10.5 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +1.4

Prediabetic Rate: 6.7

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 21.8

8. Arkansas

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 10.5 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +1.6

Prediabetic Rate: 5.4

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 24.2

7. Louisiana

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 10.8 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +0.6

Prediabetic Rate: 8.0

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 26.9

6. Texas

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 10.9 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +0.9

Prediabetic Rate: 6.6

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 21.6

5. Tennessee

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 11.1 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +1.1

Prediabetic Rate: 14.1

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 24.8

4. West Virginia

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 11.2 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +0.4

Prediabetic Rate: 6.9

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 34.1

3. South Carolina

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 11.3 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +1.8

Prediabetic Rate: 6.5

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 22.5

2. Mississippi

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 12.0 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +1.1

Prediabetic Rate: 6.2

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 32.9

1. Alabama

Adult Diabetes Rate (per 100 residents): 12.7 per 100 residents

5-Year Increase: +2.1

Prediabetic Rate: 6.8

Diabetes Deaths (per 100,000 residents): 24.3