1. Alabama: Daphne-Fairhope-Foley
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 348.4 (state: 471.6)
> Adult obesity rate: 31.0% (state: 35.1%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 10.7% (state: 10.8%)
> Median household income: $55,342 (state: $48,123)
While the Daphne metro area ranks as the healthiest city in Alabama, city residents are less healthy than the average American by several measures. Some 23.8% of adults in Daphne are physically inactive, for example, a lower inactivity rate than the 28.2% rate statewide yet more than the 22.2% rate nationwide. Similarly, 31.0% of adults in Daphne are obese, below the state obesity rate of 35.1% yet higher than the national rate of 28.5%.
Obesity is a risk factor for a number of potentially deadly diseases and conditions. In Daphne, 348 in every 100,000 residents die before the age of 75, the lowest premature death rate of any city in Alabama and far below the state premature death rate of 472 per 100,000. Nationwide, some 340 in every 100,000 Americans die before the age of 75 annually.
2. Alaska: Fairbanks
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 330.2 (state: 361.4)
> Adult obesity rate: 29.4% (state: 30.4%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 13.6% (state: 15.5%)
> Median household income: $76,747 (state: $73,181)
Fairbanks is one of just two metro areas in Alaska, and while both compare favorably to the country as a whole in several key health outcome measures, Fairbanks tends to be the healthier of the two.
Fairbanks is one of just eight U.S. metro areas where adult residents report fewer than three days of poor mental health per month. The metro area also has one of the lower premature age-adjusted mortality rates and low birthweight rates among newborns of any U.S. metro area.
3. Arizona: Prescott
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 353.7 (state: 331.2)
> Adult obesity rate: 23.8% (state: 27.2%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 12.8% (state: 11.9%)
> Median household income: $50,041 (state: $56,581)
Prescott ranks as the healthiest metro area in Arizona. Just 14.3% of metro area adults report being in fair or poor health, a smaller share than the 17.8% of adults across the state as a whole. Additionally, just 23.8% of metro area adults are obese, well below the 27.2% obesity rate across Arizona.
Prescott residents also benefit from relatively clean air. The concentration of harmful particulate matter in the air in Prescott is tied with Lake Havasu City for the lowest of any metro area in the state.
4. Arkansas: Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 364.5 (state: 462.1)
> Adult obesity rate: 31.5% (state: 35.2%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 11.6% (state: 9.4%)
> Median household income: $56,038 (state: $45,869)
Based on a number of key health measures, all six metropolitan areas in Arkansas compare unfavorably to the nation as a whole. The Fayetteville metro area, however, compares favorably to the other five metro areas in several important measures of health considered in the index, and in a few it even compares favorably to the U.S. as a whole.
Notably, Fayetteville’s premature mortality rate of 365 deaths before age 75 per 100,000 residents is lower than every other metro area in the state and not much higher than the national rate of 340 per 100,000. In all the other Arkansas metro areas, premature mortality rates are in excess of 400 per 100,000.
5. California: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 194.8 (state: 272.3)
> Adult obesity rate: 19.9% (state: 22.7%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 5.1% (state: 8.4%)
> Median household income: $117,474 (state: $71,805)
San Jose is the healthiest metro area in California and one of the healthiest nationwide. Just 19.9% of metro area adults are obese, well below the 28.5% national obesity rate. Additionally, the metro area is one of only eight nationwide where adults report an average of fewer than three mentally unhealthy days per month. Nationwide, adults report an average of nearly four mentally unhealthy days per month.
Remaining physically active can be critical to remaining healthy — both mentally and physically. In San Jose, only 16.3% of adults lead completely sedentary lives, a smaller share than the 17.4% state and 22.2% national physical inactivity rate