Special Report

The Healthiest City in Every State

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Colorado: Boulder
> Adult obesity rate: 15.2% (state: 21.8%)
> Adult smoking rate: 11.3% (state: 14.6%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 90.5% (state: 84.5%)
> Residents with health insurance: 93.2% (state: 91.3%)
> Median household income: $88,535 (state: $77,127)

Boulder ranks not just as the healthiest metro areas in Colorado, but also one of the healthiest in the U.S. Just 11.6% of adults in the metro area report being in fair or poor health, one of the smallest shares of any metro area nationwide, and well below the U.S. share of 17.0%.

Boulder also has the second lowest obesity rate among U.S. metro areas, with just 15.2% of adults reporting a body mass index of 30 or greater. Obesity is one of the most direct indicators of good health behavior and outcomes.

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Connecticut: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk
> Adult obesity rate: 21.3% (state: 25.8%)
> Adult smoking rate: 10.2% (state: 12.7%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 82.3% (state: 79.6%)
> Residents with health insurance: 91.1% (state: 93.7%)
> Median household income: $97,053 (state: $78,833)

Of the four metro areas in Connecticut, Bridgeport ranks as the healthiest. Adults report 2.6 physically unhealthy days a month, less than any other metro area in the U.S. and the only metro area in Connecticut where adults report an average of fewer than three physically unwell days per month. Adults in Bridgeport are also less likely to smoke or be obese and more likely to exercise regularly than those living in any other metro area in the state.

Those with higher income often have better access to health care and can afford a greater range of healthy options related to diet and lifestyle, and they often report higher health status as a result. In the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area, the typical household earns $97,053 a year, the highest median household income in Connecticut and the third highest in the U.S. It is well above the median household income of $78,833 across the state as a whole and the median of $65,712 across the country.

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Delaware: Dover
> Adult obesity rate: 35.4% (state: 30.9%)
> Adult smoking rate: 16.8% (state: 17.0%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 68.8% (state: 72.3%)
> Residents with health insurance: 93.6% (state: 93.9%)
> Median household income: $58,001 (state: $70,176)

Dover is the only metro area in Delaware and ranks as the healthiest city by default. By several important measures, however, the capital city is less healthy than the state as a whole. For example, only about 68.8% of metro area adults exercise regularly compared to about 72.3% of adults across the state. Regular physical activity can help in maintaining a healhty weight, and in Dover, 35.4% of adults are obese, a higher obesity rate than the state rate of 30.9%.

One key measure by which Dover ranks more favorably than the state as a whole is smoking. The adult smoking rate in the city is 16.8%, slightly lower than the state and national smoking rate of 17.0%.

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Florida: Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island
> Adult obesity rate: 21.3% (state: 26.6%)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.4% (state: 16.1%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 76.8% (state: 74.1%)
> Residents with health insurance: 77.2% (state: 84.0%)
> Median household income: $76,025 (state: $59,227)

Obesity is a risk factor for a number of serious and potentially fatal diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Just 21.3% of adults in the Naples metro area are obese, a far smaller share than the 26.6% of adults across Florida. The better than average obesity rate is likely due in part to healthier lifestyles. For example, 76.8% of adults in Naples exercise regularly compared to 74.1% of adults statewide. Similarly, adults in Naples are less likely to smoke than the typical adult in Florida.

The premature death rate in Naples is the lowest among the 22 metro areas in Florida. About 223 people per 100,000 residents die before the age of 75, compared to 339 premature deaths per 100,000 across the state as a whole.

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Georgia: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell
> Adult obesity rate: 30.4% (state: 32.0%)
> Adult smoking rate: 15.2% (state: 17.5%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 74.9% (state: 72.5%)
> Residents with health insurance: 85.1% (state: 84.5%)
> Median household income: $71,742 (state: $61,980)

Atlanta is not only the largest metro area in Georgia by far — it accounts for more than half of the state’s population — but also the healthiest. Metro area adults report the fewest average days of poor mental health per month. Atlanta also has the highest share of adult residents who exercise on a regular basis, at 74.9% compared to 72.5% of adults across the state. The area’s premature age-adjusted mortality rate of 324 deaths before age 75 for every 100,000 people is lower than the state premature mortality rate of 381 per 100,000.

Those with higher income often have better access to health care and can afford a healthier lifestyle. In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area, the typical household earns $71,742 a year, the highest median household income in Georgia and well above the median of $61,980 across the state as a whole.