Arizona Leads the Nation

In most cases – being number one is a good thing. However, Arizona leads the nation in an area where it would be better not to be on top. A new report suggests our state is #1 in the U.S. when it comes to teenagers engaging in risky behaviors.


Teenagers do a lot of stupid things. But teenagers today do stupid things a lot less than teenagers in the past. Unfortunately, teens in Arizona do more stupid things than those in other states.

The analysts at HealthGrove looked at the data from High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2015) to find the states with the most irresponsible teenagers. HealthGrove examined the variety of irresponsible behaviors tracked by the survey and created an Irresponsibility Index that takes the six most common ones into account.

The higher the Irresponsibility Index Score, the more irresponsible the teenagers of that state. 

Among the risky behaviors that were used in the study:

  • alcohol use,
  • cigarette smoking,
  • lack of seatbelt use,
  • unsafe sex, and a few new behaviors such as
  • vaping, and
  • e-cigarettes.

The photo below is taken from the HealthGrove website and you can see it ranks Arizona number one in risky behavior among teens with an irresponsibility score of 100. As a point of comparison, only 4.54% of South Carolina teens said they drove when they had been drinking and 3.42% of Oklahoma teens admitted to ever using cocaine.You can look through all the states by clicking here.


While some states were excluded from the list for not filling out (or only partially filling out) the survey, it is still sobering to see some of Arizona’s numbers. Share your thoughts on the report and how, you believe, we can help teenagers in our state reduce their involvement in risky behaviors. Working together to find solutions to these types of health issues will help us one day reach our goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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