Is your City one of the Healthiest in the US?

For its 2021 Healthiest and Unhealthiest Cities in America report, the personal finance website WalletHub evaluated 182 U.S. cities according to dozens of metrics pertaining to healthcare, food, fitness, and green spaces. The data collected ranged from the cost of a medical visit and access to healthcare providers to premature death rates and COVID-19 cases. The methodology was established by WalletHub analysts in conjunction with academic experts. The metrics were chosen for relevance, as well as availability of data.

Here are the top 10 healthiest U.S. cities, according to the survey’s findings:

1. San Francisco, California

2. Seattle, Washington

3. Portland, Oregon

4. San Diego, California

5. Honolulu, Hawaii

6. Washington, DC

7. Austin, Texas

8. Irvine, California

9. Portland, Maine

10. Denver, Colorado


The 10 cities that landed on the bottom of the list:

173. Lubbock, Texas

174. Huntington, West Virginia

175. Jackson, Mississippi

176. Fort Smith, Arizona

177. Montgomery, Alabama

178. Memphis, Tennessee

179. Shreveport, Louisiana

180. Gulfport, Mississippi

181. Laredo, Texas

182. Brownsville, Texas

Seven of the top 10 cities — Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu, Washington, DC, and Irvine — are of the 20 most expensive U.S. cities. According to Data USA, the median household income in San Francisco is $112,376 dollars a year, compared with an annual median household income of $36,499 dollars in Brownsville.

Among the top ‘healthiest’ cities described in the WalletHub article, all have very high median incomes and are very expensive places to live, which indicates to me that health follows wealth. But that likely is true only in the aggregate and applies only to those who are disproportionately more privileged.