The index is computed by taking a state's annual number of white births, subtracting from it the number of white deaths, dividing that figure by the state's total white population, and multiplying the result four orders of magnitude for ease of comprehension. That is, the larger the number, the higher the births-to-deaths ratio is. Negative values indicate more deaths than births. All data are from 2010:
|3. District of Columbia||72.3|
|8. South Dakota||36.3|
|11. North Dakota||30.9|
|24. North Carolina||12.2|
|26. New Hampshire||11.9|
|30. South Carolina||10.4|
|33. New York||7.6|
|45. West Virginia||(7.8)|
|46. New Jersey||(8.5)|
|49. New Mexico||(16.9)|
|50. Rhode Island||(23.3)|
Here is an accompanying visualization showing the states with the most vitality in bright green, through teal, to turquoise, through lighter blue, and finally with the most enervated states a deep blue hue:
Keep in mind this doesn't take into account interstate migration. A lot of blue hairs who can afford to do so opt to move to Florida to live out their golden years. Many stay through the gloam until their suns finally set. Alternatively, an urban spot like DC attracts a lot of relatively young people who will ultimately leave the place for somewhere more bucolic down the road.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see Utah in the #1 spot by a long shot. Mormons are the living embodiment of the classic 1950s American dream. Moribund they most certainly are not.
Generalizing, the upper Midwest, northern mountain, and frontier states are relatively vivacious; the Northeast, Southwest, and--perhaps most surprisingly given that the region is characterized by warm weather, low living costs and modest population densities, religiosity, and political conservatism--the South are relatively feeble.
Parenthetically, the 2010 CDC data shows white births slightly outnumbering white deaths (2.16 million and 1.97 million, respectively). That explains part of the reason that most states have positive white vitality index scores, but it's also an artifact born out of the fact that many of the country's most populous states like California, New Jersey, and Florida are at the bottom of the list.