Top 10 U.S. cities with the healthiest residents

Maintaining physical and mental health is an important part of one’s financial life, especially as one ages. The health status of an individual – and even the community at large – can impact the prices of health care, health insurance, life insurance, long-term care insurance and other related expenses. It can also undercut the best-laid financial goals and impact overall quality of life for an individual and their family.

With this in mind, SmartAsset ranked 100 of the largest U.S. cities to find the healthiest places based on 10 metrics: obesity, physical activity levels, smoking, excessive drinking, rate of physically unwell days, rate of mentally unwell days, air pollution, sleep sufficiency, diabetes, and drug overdose deaths.

Key findings

  • Arlington, VA is the healthiest city. Arlington nears the top of the list on most metrics. Residents have the lowest rate of physically unwell days, the second-lowest rate of smokers and physical inactivity, and the fourth-lowest rate of poor mental health days.
  • People in these tech hubs are particularly healthy. While Seattle placed second overall, San Jose (third), San Francisco (fifth), Oakland and Fremont (tied for eighth) also topped the list. Studywide, Seattleites are the most physically active, San Jose has the least smokers, and San Francisco has the lowest rate of obesity.
  • Anchorage, AK residents have the lowest rate of poor mental health days. On average, people endure 3.6 poor mental health days for every 30 days in Anchorage, while other major cities face 4.7 days. On the other hand, residents in New Orleans have the most days of poor mental health, averaging 6.0 days out of every 30.
  • These Midwestern cities have the lowest rates of heavy drinkers. Oklahoma City tops this metric with only 13.7% of adults reporting binge or heavy drinking. Tulsa, OK ranked second (14.3%) and Memphis, TN ranked third (14.4%). Three North Carolina cities also had particularly low rates of heavy drinking, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Durham.

table showing Top 10 cities Healthiest Cities in the U.S.
SmartAsset

Top 10 healthiest cities

1. Arlington, Virginia

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.0
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 3.8
Current smokers: 9.0%
Adult obesity: 27.8%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 14.4%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 20.8%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 8
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 8.0%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 9.0
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 28.4%

2. Seattle, Washington

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.6
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.4
Current smokers: 9.5%
Adult obesity: 20.9%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 13.9%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 20.1%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 8.3
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 7.0%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 18.9
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 27.4%

3. San Jose, California

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.5
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.0
Current smokers: 8.4%
Adult obesity: 20.5%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 18.5%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 19.1%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 9.2
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 8.6%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 12.0
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 28.7%

4. Boise, Idaho

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.8
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.3
Current smokers: 13.3%
Adult obesity: 27.7%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.2%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 19.7%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 5.4
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 7.5%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 16.7
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 28.5%

5. San Francisco, California

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.5
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.3
Current smokers: 9.0%
Adult obesity: 19.0%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 16.9%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 19.1%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 7.7
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 8.8%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 45.1
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 29.4%

6. Aurora, Colorado

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.6
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.4
Current smokers: 13.1%
Adult obesity: 24.8%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 18.3%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 21.1%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 6
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 7.6%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 18.1
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 29.2%

7. Raleigh, North Carolina

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.5
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 3.9
Current smokers: 11.5%
Adult obesity: 28.1%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 16.2%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 18.6%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 10.2
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 8.6%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 13.5
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 30.5%

8 (tie). Oakland, California

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.6
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.5
Current smokers: 9.9%
Adult obesity: 24.3%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.9%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 18.1%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 9.4
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 9.1%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 15.2
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 29.9%

8. (tie) Fremont, California

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.6
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.5
Current smokers: 9.9%
Adult obesity: 24.3%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.9%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 18.1%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 9.4
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 9.1%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 15.2
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 29.9%

10. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Physically unhealthy days per 30 days: 2.4
Mentally unhealthy days per 30 days: 4.3
Current smokers: 13.3%
Adult obesity: 27.7%
Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 16.4%
Adults reporting binge or heavy drinking: 22.2%
Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter of air (PM2.5): 8.3
Adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes: 7.5%
Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population: 19.8
Adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average: 25.4%

Data and methodology

Data is for 2023 and comes from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Data was examined for the largest 100 cities for which data was available. Cities are mapped to county-level. Variables are age-adjusted and self-reported, and include:

  • Average number of physically unhealthy days reported in the past 30 days.
  • Average number of mentally unhealthy days reported in the past 30 days.
  • Percentage of adults who are current smokers.
  • Percentage of the adult population that reports a body mass index (BMI) greater than or
  • equal to 30 kg/m2.
  • Percentage of adults age 18 and over reporting no leisure-time physical activity.
  • Percentage of adults reporting binge or heavy drinking.
  • Average daily density of fine particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter (PM2.5).
  • Percentage of adults aged 20 and above with diagnosed diabetes.
  • Number of drug poisoning deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Percentage of adults who report fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average.

 

 

This story was produced by SmartAsset and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

Provided by Stacker

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