Special Report

25 Healthiest Cities in America

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5. Provo-Orem, UT
> Premature death rate: 194 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 25.4%
> Uninsured rate: 7.5%
> Median household income: $70,196

Located less than an hour south of Salt Lake City, Provo-Orem is among the country’s fastest growing metropolitan areas — due in part to a rapid birth rate. Only 6.2% of those newborns arrived with a low birthweight, compared with the national average of 8.0%.

Healthy behaviors are common in the in the Provo-Orem metro area. Only 6.8% of adults currently smoke versus 17% nationwide. Area adults are also far more likely to exercise regularly than the typical American adult. Partially as a result, the metro area’s obesity rate of 25.4% is below the comparable 29.0% national rate.

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4. Logan, UT-ID
> Premature death rate: 204 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 26.5%
> Uninsured rate: 7.9%
> Median household income: $52,974

One of three Utah metro areas among the 25 healthiest cities in the nation, Logan rates high for its clean air, with an average daily density of 6.6 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter. Clean air likely contributes to positive health outcomes. For example, just 10.8% of metro area adults report being in fair or poor health, well below the 16.0% share of adults nationwide.

Healthy habits also help. Adults in Logan are far less likely to smoke and far more likely to exercise than the typical American adult.

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3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
> Premature death rate: 216 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 19.9%
> Uninsured rate: 4.2%
> Median household income: $117,474

Situated just south of San Francisco Bay, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area is the wealthiest in the United States — and also among the healthiest. The area’s adult smoking rate of 8.3% is less than half the national rate of 17%. The adult obesity rate of 19.9% is almost 10 percentage points below the 29.0% national figure. And nearly 98% of the population has access to places for physical activity, compared with 84% nationally.

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2. Ames, IA
> Premature death rate: 206 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 27.7%
> Uninsured rate: 4.9%
> Median household income: $60,351

Healthy habits are common in Ames, Iowa. The percentage of driving deaths involving alcohol, at 13.6%, is less than half of the national figure of 29.0%. Additionally, just 14.5% of adults smoke and 18.6% of adults are regularly physically active, compared to the national rates of 17.0% and 22.0%, respectively.

Healthy behaviors like these contribute to healthy outcomes. For example, the obesity rate in Ames of 27.7% is lower than the 29.0% national obesity rate. Additionally, Ames has the third lowest premature death rate among U.S. metro areas.

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1. Rochester, MN
> Premature death rate: 282 per 100,000 people
> Adult obesity rate: 27.3%
> Uninsured rate: 3.9%
> Median household income: $71,985

Not only is Rochester, Minnesota, the healthiest city in the United States, but also it is the No. 1 city for older Americans. More than half of the female Medicare enrollees receive annual mammograms — 56.5% versus 41% nationally. Additionally, 55.5% of Rochester’s Medicare enrollees get a flu shot compared to the national average of 45%.

Higher-income Americans can afford a greater range of healthy options related to diet and lifestyle. Rochester’s median household income of $71,985 is well above the national median of $60,336. It is perhaps no coincidence that area adults report an average of just 2.7 physically unhealthy days a month, the least of any U.S. metro area.

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