Meeting planners travel to many American cities; some of which are healthier than others. 24/7 Wall St. recently crunched health data from the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, in order to determine which American cities are the healthiest.
Their conclusion? Rochester, Minnesota, home of the renowned Mayo Clinic, is the healthiest city in America. Rochester adults report an average of just 2.4 physically unhealthy days per month, the lowest in the country. When they require medical attention, the ratio is 180 primary care physicians for every 100,000 residents—more per capita than in any other city in America.
The other Top Five healthiest cities, according to 24/7 Wall St., are the San Jose, California metropolitan area; Ames, Iowa; Boulder, Colorado; and Iowa City, Iowa.
To come up with its list, 24/7 Wall St. examined more than two dozen health factors related to quality and length of life in cities across the country, including the premature death rate, adult obesity rate, the percent of adults without health insurance and the median household income.
They emphasize that premature death is the single most important factor in rating the overall health of a city, noting that residents in the 25 healthiest American cities are far less likely to die before age 75. Data on life expectancy came from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a global health research center affiliated with the University of Washington.
-Income plays a significant role, as the wealthy can afford medical treatment and good quality food. In most of the locations that made 24/7 Wall St.’s healthiest cities list, the median household income exceeds the national average. For example: In the San Jose metropolitan region, which came in No. 2 in the rankings, the median income is $92,960 annually—more than any other American city.
-Health insurance coverage is also significant because those who have it are more likely to seek preventative medical screening and treatment. The uninsured are more likely to be diagnosed with disease later, when treatment outcome is less optimistic. The percent of uninsured individuals in the healthiest American cities are all far below than the national rate.
–When compiling the list, researchers also took healthy behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment measures into consideration. Smoking and obesity have a direct correlation on health. Across the country, 17 percent of adults are smokers and 27 percent are obese. Not surprisingly, the healthiest cities had significantly lower percentages of smokers and obese residents.
–While cities all across the nation made the Top 25 list, certain states were more represented than others. Minnesota had the most locations, securing four spots in the Top 25: Rochester (No. 1); Mankato (No. 9); St. Cloud (No. 12); and Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington (No. 13). California, often associated with good health, snagged three spots: the San Jose metropolitan area (No. 2); the San Francisco Bay Area (No. 14); and Santa Rosa (No. 20). Iowa and Wisconsin were also well-represented, with three regions each on the list.
–While none of the nation’s largest metropolises (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami or Las Vegas) made the list, many mid-size cities such as Ann Arbor, Michigan; Madison, Wisconsin; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Lawrence, Kansas did.
List of the 25 Healthiest Cities
Here, in order, is the 24/7 Wall St. list of the 25 healthiest cities. To learn more about why each one made the list, visit 247wallst.com.
1. Rochester, Minnesota
2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
3. Ames, Iowa
4. Boulder, Colorado
5. Iowa City, Iowa
6. Provo-Orem, Utah
7. Logan, Utah
8. Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont
9. Mankato-North Mankato, Minnesota
10. La Crosse-Onalaska, Wisconsin
11. Fort Collins, Colorado
12. Cloud, Minnesota
13. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota
14. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
15. Fargo, North Dakota
16. Corvallis, Oregon
17. Lincoln, Nebraska
18. Dubuque, Iowa
19. Appleton, Wisconsin
20. Santa Rosa, California
21. Madison, Wisconsin
22. State College, Pennsylvania
23. Ann Arbor, Michigan
24. Lawrence, Kansas
25. Portland-South Portland, Maine