25. Ann Arbor, MI
> Premature death rate: 274 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 23.8%
> Uninsured rate: 2.7%
> Median household income: $70,286
Ann Arbor boasts the third lowest uninsured rate of any U.S. metro area. Just 2.7% of the population lacks health insurance, well below the national uninsured rate of 8.7%. The area’s teen birth rate of 7.4 per 1,000 females ages 15-19 is less than a third of the national figure of 25 per 1,000.
Only 14.5% of adults in the city report no leisure-time physical activity — compared to the national average of 22% — and 91.2% of the population has access to places for physical activity like parks and gyms. This could partly help explain the city’s relatively low adult obesity rate of 23.8%, which is well below the national rate of 29.0%.
24. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
> Premature death rate: 282 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 28.2%
> Uninsured rate: 6.9%
> Median household income: $71,629
The Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan area dropped a couple of notches from its ranking as 22nd healthiest city last year. Nevertheless, good health habits prevail in the city. The adult smoking rate of 8.3% is considerably lower than the national rate of 17.0%, and the excessive drinking of 12.1% is also well below the national rate of 18.0%.
Excessive drinking also plays a smaller role in driving fatalities. Alcohol was involved in only 13.7% of driving deaths, versus 29.0% nationally.
23. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
> Premature death rate: 271 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 21.0%
> Uninsured rate: 9.3%
> Median household income: $71,106
The obesity rate in Santa Maria-Santa Barbara is among the lowest nationwide. At 21%. it is 8 percentage points below the national obesity rate of 29%.
Somewhat surprisingly, 17.6% of area residents report being in fair or poor health, the largest share among the 25 cities listed here and above the national average of 16.0%. Additionally, a relatively high 9.3% of people do not have health insurance in this coastal California metropolitan area, the highest uninsured rate on this list and above the national rate of 8.7%.
22. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Premature death rate: 291 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 25.8%
> Uninsured rate: 4.2%
> Median household income: $76,856
Adults in the Twin Cities report the second lowest number of physically unhealthy days per month of any city on this list and among the lowest of any metro area nationwide at just 2.7 — a full day below the national average.
Better educated, higher income populations tend to report better health outcomes, and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington is no exception. At 8.1%, the metropolitan area’s poverty rate is well below the national rate of 13.4%. Similarly, nearly 42% of adults hold a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 32% of adults nationwide.
21. Madison, WI
> Premature death rate: 284 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 26.1%
> Uninsured rate: 4.2%
> Median household income: $71,301
Madison is among the healthiest cities in the nation. Just 4.2% of area residents lack health insurance, less than half the national uninsured rate of 8.7%. Madison residents also stay active. Only 15.5% of adults report no leisure-time physical activity compared to 22.0% of adults nationwide.
Higher-income Americans can often afford access to better health care and to a greater range of healthy options related to diet and lifestyle. The median annual household income of $71,301 in Madison yields a gross difference of more than $900 per month above the $60,336 national median.