http://us.movember.com/mens-health says:

12.1% of men 18 years and over are in fair or poor health.

What is the meaning of "in fair health" here?

For me "in fair health" sounds like "healthy".
But it makes no sense that healthy+unhealthy people would make only 12.1% of the population.

So, does "in fair health" mean "unhealthy but not as unhealthy as poor health"?

Movember Men's health

  • 1
    Typically, the ranks are poor, fair, average, good, and excellent when talking generally about a data distribution for a magazine article. It can vary though. You're correct in thinking fair is better than poor but not considered good health.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 13, 2014 at 2:26

1 Answer 1


If you check this definition of fair sense 12:

12) neither very bad nor very good; average ⇒ "in fair condition"

so it ends up being a neutral description. Neither bad (having a serious health condition) nor good (having healthy habits like diet, exercise, vaccinations, etc.).

In high school (for me anyway), a "fair" grade was a "C" 70-80%. Good enough to pass but nothing to brag about.

  • 1
    If fair here means average, then we can classify people as: poor health, average health, good health. How can poor+average only make 12.1% of the population? Is really 87.9% of the population so healthy they can brag about it? Just trying to understand better. Nov 13, 2014 at 3:26
  • One would have to check the data that led to that conclusion. In the case of health I imagine there are lots of variables, so it depends how they judged it.
    – user3169
    Nov 13, 2014 at 3:44
  • +1 With the lack of any scale being given on the linked article I think an assumption of 'fair meaning average/neutral/middling' is about right however it's often used in a scale as just a little better than average (rather like your school grade). It's not a great term to describe someone's health without actually defining what it means.
    – Frank
    Nov 13, 2014 at 5:48

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