Special Report

The Healthiest City in Every State

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11. Hawaii: Urban Honolulu
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 270.6 (state: 278.6)
> Adult obesity rate: 23.0% (state: 23.1%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 3.8% (state: 4.2%)
> Median household income: $81,284 (state: $77,765)

Of the two metro areas in Hawaii — Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina and Honolulu — Honolulu is the healthiest. Unlike the other metro area, adults in Honolulu report fewer than three mentally and fewer than three physically unhealthy days per month on average. Adults in Honolulu are also less likely to be obese and less likely to smoke than those in the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina metro area.

Americans with health insurance are more likely to make regular doctor visits for checkups and preventative care, and in Honolulu, only 3.8% of the population is uninsured, below both the state uninsured rate of 4.2% and the national rate of 10.0%.

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12. Idaho: Boise City
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 282.1 (state: 307.4)
> Adult obesity rate: 28.1% (state: 28.3%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 11.2% (state: 11.8%)
> Median household income: $55,324 (state: $52,225)

Boise City ranks as the healthiest of Idaho’s five metro areas. Metro area adults report the fewest days of poor physical health per month as well as the fewest average days per month of poor mental health in the state.

Those in the workforce who are steadily employed are less likely to deal with the stress associated with unemployment and are less likely to face poverty and financial uncertainty. Unemployed people are likely for a number of reasons to have worse health outcomes. Boise’s unemployment rate, however, is just 2.7%, one of the lowest rates among U.S. metro areas.

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13. Illinois: Bloomington
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 295.5 (state: 326.4)
> Adult obesity rate: 30.3% (state: 28.7%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 4.4% (state: 7.5%)
> Median household income: $65,936 (state: $62,992)

Just 14.4% of adults in Bloomington report being in fair or poor health, the smallest share of any metro area in Illinois. The better outcome is due in part to healthier behaviors. For instance, adults in Bloomington are less likely to smoke than adults across the state as a whole. Additionally, with a 4.4% uninsured rate — they lowest of any metro area in the state — Bloomington residents are also more likely to make regular visits to the doctor and receive preventive medical care.

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14. Indiana: Lafayette-West Lafayette
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 341.8 (state: 398.3)
> Adult obesity rate: 30.1% (state: 32.8%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 10.6% (state: 9.5%)
> Median household income: $52,224 (state: $54,181)

The greater Lafayette metro area ranks as the healthiest of Indiana’s 12 metropolitan statistical areas, but compared to the country as a whole, the city ranks as average to slightly worse than average.

There are some exceptions, however. The metro area has a below average rate of newborns with low birth weight, a common indicator of poor regional health. Additionally, the metro area’s premature death rate of 342 deaths before age 75 for every 100,000 people is below the state rate of 398 per 100,000 and in line with the national rate of 340 per 100,000.

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15. Iowa: Ames
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 227.7 (state: 315.5)
> Adult obesity rate: 27.7% (state: 32.2%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 4.7% (state: 5.0%)
> Median household income: $60,351 (state: $58,570)

Ames has the lowest premature death rate of any metro area in Iowa. This is likely due in part to healthier behaviors, as adults in Ames are less likely to smoke and more likely to exercise than adults across the state as a whole.

The healthy lifestyles in Ames are partially attributable to the presence of certain amenities in the city. For example, 92.1% of the metro area population has easy access to places for physical activity like parks and recreation centers, the largest share of any metro area in the state.

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