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What Are The Healthiest Cities in America?

Healthiest Cities in America

America has become very health conscious, paying more attention to what they eat, exercising more and becoming more knowledgeable about health-related issues. But overall health varies from city to city. Forbes recently researched what constitutes the healthiest cities and developed a list of the top 20.

Health factors included rates for cardiovascular disease, obesity and smoking. Research found that cities rating the highest in being healthy had recreation facilities, farmers markets, parks with walking and biking trails, and bans on smoking in public places. Based on these factors, here are the top 20:

#1 - Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN - scored 77.2 out of a possible 100. They were among the first cities to add bike trails and smoking bans.

#2 - Washington, D.C. - has a higher than normal number of swimming pools, tennis courts, and recreation centers and also has a higher number of primary health providers per capita than many other large metropolitan cities.

#3 - Boston, MA - almost half the population of Boston are physically active, and a high percent of residents walk or bike to work. They have a lower than average smoking rate of 14 percent.

#4 - Portland, OR - has a very high level of parks, farmers markets, and a large amount of residents walking or biking to work.

#5 - Denver, CO - 61 percent of residents are in excellent or very good health. The city provides an abundance of recreation and has lower levels of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and asthma.

#6 - San Francisco, CA - the high number of farmers markets encourage residents to eat more fruits and vegetables. They also have a record low smoking rate of 8 percent (national average is 18).

#7 - Hartford, CT - has a high level of farmers markets, so residents eat more fruits and vegetables. They also have a large number of health care providers.

#8 - Seattle, WA - residents are less likely to smoke, or suffer from diabetes or heart disease. They are more active and eat healthy.

#9 - Virginia Beach, VA - has an abundance of parks and recreation facilities. In addition, they have excellent access to medical care with 89 percent of residents with health insurance.

#10 - Sacramento, CA - located in the middle of California's produce-growing Central Valley results in 30 percent of residents eating fruits and vegetables.

The remaining 10 include San Jose, CA, Richmond, VA, San Diego, CA, Cincinnati, OH, Salt Lake City, UT, Austin, TX, Pittsburgh, PA, Atlanta, GA, Providence, RI and Baltimore, MD.

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