Special Report

25 Healthiest Cities in America

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15. Appleton, WI
> Premature death rate: 316 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 29.3%
> Uninsured rate: 3.6%
> Median household income: $65,990

Appleton, is not only the 15th healthiest U.S. city, but also one of the best cities for older Americans. For example, over 54% of female Medicare enrollees receive an annual mammogram compared to 41% nationwide and 52% of Medicare enrollees receive a flu shot compared to 45% nationwide. In addition, 91% of area residents have access to places for physical activity compared to 84% nationwide.

Higher-income Americans can afford a greater range of healthy options related to diet and lifestyle. In Appleton, 6.9% of the population lives in poverty, well below the 13.4% national figure.

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14. St. Cloud, MN
> Premature death rate: 287 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 28.7%
> Uninsured rate: 3.4%
> Median household income: $61,943

St. Cloud is among five metropolitan areas on the list of 25 healthiest cities located either fully or partially in the state of Minnesota. St. Cloud’s adult obesity rate of 28.7% is just below the 29% national average, but city residents are well above average when it comes to staying active. Just 19.2% report no leisure-time physical activity, compared to 22.0% of adults nationwide. The city’s smoking rate of 15.2% is also less than the 17.0% national adult smoking rate.

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13. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
> Premature death rate: 271 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 20.7%
> Uninsured rate: 4.5%
> Median household income: $101,714

The San Francisco metropolitan area slipped from its No. 7 rank in last year’s list, despite a reduction in the uninsured population. Only 4.5% of the under-65 population lacks health insurance this year versus 7.7% last year. Nationwide, 8.7% of the demographic is uninsured.

Higher-income Americans can afford a greater range of healthy options related to diet and lifestyle. The San Francisco metro area’s median annual household income of $101,714 ranks among the highest of any metro area and way above the national median of $60,336. More than 21% of area households have an income of $200,000 or higher, the second largest share of any city and far more than the national share of 6.9%.

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12. Mankato-North Mankato, MN
> Premature death rate: 276 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 31.7%
> Uninsured rate: 3.5%
> Median household income: $61,241

Mankato-North Mankato, Minnesota, jumped up the list from last year’s No. 18 ranking. Both the obesity rate and median household income improved over the past year. The adult obesity rate declined from 33.3% to 31.7%, though it remains above the national rate of 29.0%. At 31.7%, the adult obesity rate is below 2018’s 33.3%, though still above the national average of 29%. Similarly, the median annual household income climbed to $61,241 from $57,833 and tops the national median of $60,336.

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11. Burlington-South Burlington, VT
> Premature death rate: 340 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 22.6%
> Uninsured rate: 3.5%
> Median household income: $63,160

Burlington, Vermont is one of only three metropolitan areas in the Eastern United States to rank among the 25 healthiest cities. Medical care is readily available in the city, with more than 148 primary care physicians per 100,000 people, a greater concentration than in all but three other metro areas.

Area residents also benefit from clean air. The air quality tops all of the other healthiest cities, with the average daily density of fine particulate matter at 6.5 micrograms per cubic meter; 8.6 is the average national figure.

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