The 25 Healthiest Cities in America

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20. Santa Rosa, CA
> Premature death rate:
250.5 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 21.6%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 10.0%
> Median household income: $63,799

Less than 12% of adults in the Santa Rosa metro area smoke, one of the lowest smoking rates of any U.S. city and far lower than the 17% nationwide smoking rate. Area residents are also more likely than most Americans to maintain a healthy weight. Only 21.6% of Santa Rosa adults are obese, significantly lower than the 27.0% of American adults who are obese. Lower than average smoking and obesity rates have likely contributed to a higher than average life expectancy. People live an average of nearly two years longer in Santa Rosa than they do on average nationwide.

19. Appleton, WI
> Premature death rate:
256.7 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 31.4%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.7%
> Median household income: $60,413

Appleton residents are far more likely to live past the age of 75 than most Americans. For every 100,000 metro area residents, less than 257 die before age 75, considerably less than the roughly 474 premature deaths per 100,000 Americans.

A healthy diet and lifestyle is a crucial component of a long, healthy life, and affording the generally higher costs of fresh nutritious food are not likely a serious concern for many Appleton residents. The typical metro area household earns $60,413 a year, considerably more the national $53,482 median household income. Additionally, only 13.1% of metro area children — who are particularly vulnerable to the negative health effects of malnutrition — live in poverty, one of the lowest child poverty rates in the country.

18. Dubuque, IA
> Premature death rate:
277.3 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 27.7%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.2%
> Median household income: $53,410

People with health insurance are far more likely to receive regular medical care and preventative check-ups than those without insurance. In Dubuque, about 95% of residents under the age of 65 have health insurance, one of the best coverage rates in the country. With near universal health coverage, adults in Dubuque are more likely than most Americans to live past the age of 75. Each year, 277 out of every 100,000 residents die before age 75, far fewer than the 474 premature deaths per 100,000 rate nationwide.

17. Lincoln, NE
> Premature death rate:
269.7 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 26.3%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 8.8%
> Median household income: $52,291

Only about one in every 10 adults in Lincoln report being in fair or poor health, the fifth smallest share of any city in the country. Residents can likely attribute their good health to their lifestyles. Adults in Lincoln are more likely to exercise, less likely to smoke, and less likely to be obese than the average American. With better self-reported health and healthier behaviors, life expectancy is nearly two years longer in Lincoln than it is on average nationwide.

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16. Corvallis, OR
> Premature death rate:
228.7 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 19.7%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 7.6%
> Median household income: $49,338

Like most of the healthiest cities in the country, only a small share of Corvallis residents are not financially secure. For example, just 7.3% of area children live in poverty, one of the lowest shares on the country. The ability to afford food and health care can greatly improve a resident’s ability to lead a healthy life, life expectancy in Corvallis is 81.2 years, the seventh highest of any city in the country. Area residents may be able to attribute the high life expectancy to high levels of physical activity. In Corvallis, 86.8% of adults have physically active lifestyles, a much larger share than the 77.0% of adults nationwide.