The 25 Healthiest Cities in America

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15. Fargo, ND-MN
> Premature death rate:
280.0 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 27.5%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 6.7%
> Median household income: $53,634

Employment is important to personal health for a variety of reasons, including providing regular income and often, health insurance. Only 2.4% of the workforce in Fargo is out of a job, the lowest unemployment rate of any U.S. metropolitan area. With low unemployment, Fargo residents are more likely to have health insurance and less likely to live in poverty than most Americans. Adults in Fargo report an average of only 2.7 mentally unhealthy days and 2.7 physically unhealthy days per month, each among the least in the country.

14. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
> Premature death rate:
241.7 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 19.5%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 7.8%
> Median household income: $80,008

Financial stability is often a crucial component of good health. Those with higher incomes are less likely to struggle to afford healthy food or medical treatment. Residents of the San Francisco metro area are among the wealthiest in the country. The typical area household earns $80,008 a year, far more than the $53,482 the typical American household earns annually. Due in part to higher incomes, only 11.9% of residents struggle to afford food, one of the smallest food insecurity rates of any city in the country.

Further contributing to good overall health, San Francisco area residents are relatively active. Roughly 85% of metro area adults are regularly physically active. In comparison, only 77% of American adults regularly participate in physical activity in their leisure time.

13. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Premature death rate:
253.1 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 25.4%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.8%
> Median household income: $68,019

Only about one in every 10 adults in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area report being in fair or poor health, a smaller share than in all but a handful of other U.S. metro areas. The metro area has certain advantages that are conducive to a healthy population. Venues for physical activity such as parks and recreation centers are common as 94% of the Twin Cities population has adequate access to these areas. Nationwide, only 84% of the population has such access. Area residents are also unlikely to struggle to find adequate health care. There are more than 90 primary care physicians for every 100,000 metro area residents, a far greater share than the roughly 76 primary care doctors for every 100,000 Americans.

12. St. Cloud, MN
> Premature death rate:
251.6 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 27.4%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.5%
> Median household income: $54,985

When it comes to staying active, residents of the St. Cloud metro area are at a distinct disadvantage. Only 68.3% of area residents have adequate access to places for physical activity such as recreation centers or parks. In contrast, 84.0% of Americans have adequate access to such locations. Despite the disadvantage, area residents are slightly more likely to regularly participate in physical activity than most Americans. In the St. Cloud metro area, 79% of adults are physically active compared to 77% of American adults.

Remaining active is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, and life expectancy in St. Cloud is about three years longer than it is across the country.

11. Fort Collins, CO
> Premature death rate:
232.3 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 18.9%
> Pct. adults without health insurance: 8.7%
> Median household income: $58,844

Only 9.8% of the Fort Collins metro area adults report being in fair or poor health, a considerably smaller share than the 14.0% of American adults who do. Better than average self-reported health outcomes are likely partially the result of area residents’ healthy behaviors and lifestyles. Only 18.9% of Fort Collins adults are obese, the fourth smallest obesity rate of any city in the country. In addition, only 12.7% of adults in Fort Collins are smokers, far fewer than the 17.0% nationwide smoking rate.