Best Places to Live

Top 10 Healthiest Cities

These cities provide residents with exercise opportunities, good food choices and strong support networks.

There are two ways to look at a great healthy city. The first and obvious way is to look for cities with the best health care in terms of access, quality and affordability. The second is to dive a little deeper into how the city promotes and enables a healthy lifestyle for its residents. For our Top 10 Healthiest Cities, we looked at both sides of the equation. 

To find places with quality and affordable health care, we looked at data compiled by the County Healthcare Rankings as well as spending data from Esri. We analyzed several measures of healthy communities such as the adult obesity rate, the percent of residents with access to healthy food and other stats. We also factored in the number of hospitals, ratio of doctors to residents and more. 

Then we looked at how residents are living in the space. Does the city have the right infrastructure to promote healthy living, like access to farmers markets and parks. Is the city walkable? Do people take advantage of that by walking and biking to work when possible? Are there man-made amenities, such as golf courses, and natural amenities, too? Additionally, we pulled in some data from the EPA about the environmental components of a healthy city such as clean air and water. 

Finally, we looked over the data-driven shortlist to find a good mix of cities by size, geography and other considerations to come up with our best top 10. Check out our list of Healthiest Cities and see how we did.


10. Yonkers, NY Population 199,435
9. Fort Collins, CO Population 153,292
8. Honolulu, HI Population 347,973
7. Santa Ana, CA Population 333,268
6. Arlington, VA Population 223,945
5. Bridgeport, CT Population 147,340
4. Miami, FL Population 424,632
3. Madison, WI Population 243,122
2. Cambridge, MA Population 107,916
1. Minneapolis, MN Population 399,950

10 Best Cities for Affordable Healthcare

Staying healthy shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. Yet across the country, health-care expenses are putting big dents in family budgets. The Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care offer some relief.

Staying healthy shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. Yet across the country, health-care expenses are putting big dents in family budgets. The Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care offer some relief. They have the right prescription of low health-care spending; good access to hospitals, doctors and other providers; and an excellent quality of life.

To determine health-care affordability in each city, we considered Esri survey data on average per capita spending on health care and related items. While this was a big part of the equation, it wasn't the only measure we used to create this list. The full checkup included the number of area hospitals; the number of primary care physicians and dentists per capita; the number of premature deaths (years of potential life lost); and the percentage of residents exposed to unsafe drinking water.

And finally, the cities selected had to be great places to live overall, with plenty of things to do in terms of recreation, entertainment and dining. For that point, we reviewed LivScore data developed for our recent Top 100 Best Places to Live, which also includes factors such as walkability, incomes, access to locally grown food and the climate. After all, being healthy is great, but not if you're bored stiff.

Ranking Criteria

Average per capita spending on health care • Number of area hospitals • Primary care physicians and dentists per capita • Number of premature deaths • Percentage of residents exposed to unsafe drinking water • Number of recreation, entertainment and dining options • LivScore Index (composite of livability factors)

10. Burien, WA Population 49,785
9. Grand Rapids, MI Population 192,416
8. Lincoln, NE Population 269,726
7. Albany, NY Population 98,468
6. Charlottesville, VA Population 45,084
5. Hartford, CT Population 124,795
4. Portland, ME Population 66,490
3. Mankato, MN Population 40,557
2. Morgantown, WV Population 30,164
1. Iowa City, IA Population 71,832