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Jogging down to San Francisco: US’s healthiest cities revealed

Coming in top-spot is San Francisco, which is the ‘healthiest’ city across the main measures.

A self-driving car owned by Waymo driving in San Francisco in April 2022

With more than 7 in 10 U.S. adults being overweight and health care costs rising there are various stresses and strains upon the U.S. healthcare system. The key aspects of this have been captured and assessed by the personal-finance website WalletHub.

This comes in a report titled 2024’s Healthiest Cities in America. This report shows some variances through the different large population areas.

There are different measures through which the relative ‘health’ of a city and its populace can be measured. For the analysis, WalletHub compared more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities across 41 key metrics. The data set ranges from the cost of a medical visit to fruit and vegetable consumption to the share of physically active adults.

The outcomes was that the healthiest cities are:

1. San Francisco, CA   

2. Honolulu, HI   

3. Seattle, WA   

4. San Diego, CA   

5. Washington, DC   

6. Portland, OR   

7. Denver, CO   

8. Salt Lake City, UT   

9. Scottsdale, AZ   

10. Irvine, CA   

Coming in top-spot is San Francisco, which is the ‘healthiest’ city across the main measures.

At the other end of the scale, the least healthy cities were identified as:

173. Huntington, WV   

174. Detroit, MI   

175. Corpus Christi, TX   

176. Fayetteville, NC   

177. Augusta, GA   

178. Shreveport, LA   

179. Columbus, GA   

180. Laredo, TX   

181. Gulfport, MS   

182. Brownsville, TX   

Last place is awarded to Brownsville in Texas, the least health of the major cities assessed.

The ranking hide a number of interesting qualitative variances. For example, on the basis of all-round fitness, Overland Park, Kansas, has the lowest share of physically unhealthy adults, which is 2.4 times lower than in Augusta, Georgia, the city with the highest.

On the basis of fitness, Lubbock, Texas, was discovered to have the lowest average monthly cost for a fitness-club membership, which is 8.8 times less expensive than in New York, the city with the highest level of people engaging in physical activity.

As well as exercise, eating regular amounts of fruit and vegetables is important and the cornerstone of any balanced diet. Portland, Maine was found to possess the lowest share of adults eating fruits less than once daily, which is 1.6 times lower than in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the city with the highest level of eating more healthy foodstuffs.

On another health measure – how likely is a person in need of medical services from their local practitioner – Laredo, Texas, has the lowest cost per doctor’s visit, which is 3.1 times less expensive than in Juneau, Alaska, the city with the highest.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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