Special Report

The Healthiest City in Every State

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Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
> Adult obesity rate: 32.7% (state: 33.7%)
> Adult smoking rate: 16.7% (state: 20.1%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 73.2% (state: 70.7%)
> Residents with health insurance: 85.0% (state: 83.5%)
> Median household income: $60,605 (state: $54,449)

All four of Oklahoma’s metropolitan areas have higher premature mortality rates — one of the clearest indicators of the overall health of a population — than the majority of U.S. metro areas. But of them, Oklahoma City has the lowest, with 411 deaths before the age of 75 per 100,000 people, compared to 458 deaths per 100,000 statewide.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and among Oklahoma’s four metro areas, the capital city has the lowest adult smoking rate, at 16.7%, compared to a smoking rate of 20.1% statewide.

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Oregon: Corvallis
> Adult obesity rate: 24.9% (state: 28.8%)
> Adult smoking rate: 13.3% (state: 16.1%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 86.8% (state: 82.8%)
> Residents with health insurance: 93.2% (state: 91.8%)
> Median household income: $70,835 (state: $67,058)

Corvallis is the healthiest metro area in Oregon and one of the healthiest in the United States. While no part of the country has been spared from the opioid epidemic, Corvallis has not been as hard as other metro areas in the state. There are 54 injury deaths — which include drug overdoses — in Corvallis for every 100,000 people annually, the lowest rate of any metro area in the state and well below the injury death rate of 74 per 100,000 across Oregon as a whole.

Adults in Corvallis are also more likely to exercise regularly than those in nearly every other metro area in the country. Just 13.2% of adults in the city lead completely sedentary lives, well below the physical inactivity rates of 17.2% statewide and 23.0% nationwide.

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Pennsylvania: State College
> Adult obesity rate: 25.2% (state: 30.3%)
> Adult smoking rate: 17.0% (state: 18.7%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 81.9% (state: 76.9%)
> Residents with health insurance: 93.3% (state: 93.4%)
> Median household income: $60,706 (state: $63,463)

Residents of State College, Pennsylvania, are more likely to live long, healthy lives than those in any other metro area in the state. The premature mortality rate of 208 deaths before age 75 for every 100,000 people is lower than in every other metro area in Pennsylvania and lower than the state rate of 359 per 100,000.

The lower premature mortality rate in the area is due in part to healthier lifestyles. For example, about 82% of metro area adults get regular exercise, the largest share of the 18 metro areas in the state and well above the 77% of adults statewide. Regular exercise can help in maintaining a healthy weight, and in State College, just 25.2% of adults are obese, the smallest share in the state and well below the 30.3% state obesity rate.

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Rhode Island: Providence-Warwick
> Adult obesity rate: 28.5% (state: 28.1%)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.3% (state: 14.9%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 74.8% (state: 75.6%)
> Residents with health insurance: 95.2% (state: 94.6%)
> Median household income: $70,967 (state: $71,169)

The Providence-Warwick metro area encompasses most of Rhode Island as well as Bristol County in Massachusetts. As the only metro area in Rhode Island, Providence ranks as the healthiest metro area in the state by default, and matches the state as a whole in most measures of health behaviors and outcomes.

For example, 28.5% of adults in Providence are obese compared to 28.1% of adults across the state as a whole. Similarly, 15.1% of adults in Providence report being in fair or poor health, a slightly smaller share than the 16.4% of adults across all of Rhode Island who do.

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South Carolina: Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort
> Adult obesity rate: 26.2% (state: 32.9%)
> Adult smoking rate: 13.8% (state: 18.8%)
> Pct. of adults who exercise: 81.4% (state: 74.1%)
> Residents with health insurance: 83.9% (state: 86.9%)
> Median household income: $71,252 (state: $56,227)

While South Carolina is one of the least healthy states, the Hilton Head Island metro area is one of the healthiest cities nationwide. Just 13.8% of adults in Hilton Head smoke, the lowest smoking rate of any city in the state and far lower than both the 18.8% state and 17.0% national smoking rates. Additionally, just 26.2% of adults are obese, compared to the obesity rate of 32.9% statewide and 29.0% nationwide.

Tobacco use and obesity are the two leading causes of preventable death in the United States. In the Hilton Head Island metro area, 274 in every 100,000 residents die before the age of 75 — far lower than the state premature mortality rate of 413 per 100,000 and the least of any metro area in South Carolina.