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September 26
1876 - California oil industry born as CSO No. 4 in Pico Canyon becomes state's first commercially productive oil well [story]
Pico No. 4


Location matters when it comes to health. Some places promote wellness by expanding access to nutritious food and recreational facilities. Others strive to keep treatment costs affordable for everyone or protect green space that encourages an active and healthy lifestyle.

Absent such essentials, good health can be difficult to maintain, what with the rising cost of care in the U.S. and uneven standards for health education in public schools. Add to those factors the myriad health advice cluttering the web and the “groundbreaking” diet programs promising quick and easy results.

To determine which areas prioritize residents’ well-being, WalletHub’s data team compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across 34 key indicators of good health. Our data set ranges from “cost of doctor visit” to “fruit and vegetable consumption” to “fitness clubs per capita.” Read on for our findings, sound health advice from trustworthy experts and a full description of our methodology.

Main Findings

Ask the Experts
With health-care reform in the offing, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in on the possible effects of the new presidential administration’s policies as well as to provide advice on building good personal health. Click on the experts’ profiles below to read their bios and thoughts on the following key questions:

What impact would repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — dubbed “Obamacare” — have on the health of U.S. cities, particularly those with a high low-income population?
What effect might repealing the Medicaid expansion under the ACA have on state and municipal budgets?
What are the most important factors to consider in choosing a city that is good for your health?
Since health and wealth are both long-term investments, what are some effective strategies for convincing people to invest more in their health today?
What tips do you have for a person looking to embrace a healthier lifestyle while on a budget?
What measures can local authorities undertake in order to improve local health-care systems?

Methodology
In order to identify the overall healthiest cities in the U.S., WalletHub’s analysts compared 150 of the most populated cities across four key dimensions: 1) Health Care, 2) Food, 3) Fitness and 4) Green Space. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

We evaluated the four dimensions using 34 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for a healthy lifestyle. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available at the state level only and therefore half-weighted.

We then calculated overall scores for each city using its weighted average across all metrics and ranked the cities based on the resulting scores.

Health Care – Total Points: 25
Premature-Death Rate: Triple Weight (~5.36 Points)
Note: “Premature Death” refers to years of potential life lost.
Mental Health: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults reporting 14 or more mentally unhealthy days in the past month.
Mental-Health Counselors per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Physical Health: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults reporting 14 or more physically unhealthy days in the past month.
Family Doctors per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Dentists per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Cost of Medical Visit: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Cost of Dental Visit: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Quality of Public Hospital System: Full* Weight (~1.79 Points)
Note: This metric is based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ ranking of public hospital systems.
Hospital Beds per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Adult Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults aged 18 to 64 with health insurance coverage.
Youth Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of youths aged 17 and younger with health insurance coverage.
Food – Total Points: 25
Fruit & Vegetable Consumption: Double Weight (~6.26 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults consuming fewer than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day.
Farmer’s Markets per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
Gourmet Specialty-Food Stores per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
Healthy Restaurants per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
Note: “Healthy Restaurants” refers to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free establishments.
Dietitians & Nutritionists per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
Share of Obese Residents: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
Limited Access to Healthy Foods: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population who earn a low income and do not live within a reasonable distance to a grocery store.
Fitness – Total Points: 25
Share of Residents Who Engage in Any Physical Activity: Double Weight (~8.33 Points)
Fitness Clubs per Capita: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
Average Cost of Fitness-Club Membership: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
Recreational Leagues per Capita: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
Weight-Loss Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
Green Space – Total Points: 25
Parkland Acres per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Quality of Parks: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: This metric measures “parks spending per capita,” as a proxy for “parks quality.”
Hiking Trails per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Running Trails per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Walking Trails per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Walk Score: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Bike Score: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Physical-Activity Access: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population with adequate access to locations for engaging in physical activity.
City “Greenness”: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s Greenest Cities in America ranking.
Recreation Access: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s Best & Worst Cities for Recreation ranking.
For more info on methodology, click here.

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, County Health Rankings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Yelp, Numbeo, IMLeagues, The Trust for Public Land, MapMyFitness, Walk Score and WalletHub research.

Comment On This Story
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30 Comments

  1. Tara Plum how come I don’t feel very healthy 🤔

    • Ml Arney Ml Arney says:

      Sorry to butt in, but when I lived there I didn’t feel healthy AT ALL. Actually, it was the SCV where I started getting really sick and was eventually diagnosed with allergies so bad it made it hard to function. I never had them before living there!

    • Tara Plum Tara Plum says:

      Did you go to your orange theory class this morning? 😜 cuz I didn’t go to afterburn today like I was supposed to 😩

  2. Lisa Moody Lisa Moody says:

    I love this city 😁

  3. Why don’t you and Tara Plum join me on the next challenge at Warrior. It’s free 😜

    • Tara Plum Tara Plum says:

      Letty Zendejas and i were just talking about doing a fitness challenge last night. My hubby does pest control at Afterburn, so I was going to check that out. But I’m down to try! We also wanted to try F45.

  4. Lina Boulos Lina Boulos says:

    What about the bad air quality?

  5. Maria Rincon Maria Rincon says:

    Sabrina Rincon and we moved out lol

  6. Study based on number of cars in a Trader Joe’s parking lot

  7. Tell me more Nancy Quinonez

  8. Henry Mayo Fitness and Health – Did we have something to do with this? 😉

  9. Jim says:

    What a load of crap. Exactly how does WallyThub qualify as an expert on “health” when it comes to cities? Who the heck are they anyway?

    Oh, here they are:

    WalletHub: Free Credit Scores, Reports & Credit Improvement
    WalletHub is the only destination for free credit scores & reports updated daily. We also offer all the tools & insights needed to reach top WalletFitness.

    That is from their website. So, don’t get so excited SClaritans. Somebody paid for this, even if it’s just through advertising.

    And don’t mention it to those stuck in traffic breathing the exhausts, or more importantly to anyone who lives in Val Verde.

  10. Ariel Navas Ariel Navas says:

    Jorge Ravelo it s in the health

  11. Meanwhile our Congressman voted yes in AHCA, taking healthcare away from thousands.

  12. Won’t be once those 22,000 homes get built off the 126/5

  13. LM Ratliff LM Ratliff says:

    All western states…..

  14. Lisa Need says:

    How “healthy” can it be with our bad air quality? The air we are breathing should be one of their factors instead of how many farmers markets there are.

  15. Delilah Samuraii Vielma maybe not so bad for me

  16. Kevin D. Korenthal Check the picture. 😊

  17. Kyle Griffin Kyle Griffin says:

    Not if I can do anything about it!

  18. I think we used to be higher.

  19. Frank Parr says:

    Santa Clarita is a really nice place to live. Fantastic parks and recreation. Amazing cycling everywhere! Hiking, river trails, aquatic center. Truly a great place to live.

  20. Love this. Really hope all the awesome races we are making in Santa Clarita are helping to contribute to this, we need to get higher!!

Leave a Comment


LATEST CITY HEADLINES
Friday, Sep 23, 2022
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 27, beginning with a special meeting/closed session at 5:30 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 6 p.m.
Thursday, Sep 22, 2022
Thursday, Sep 22, 2022
The city of Santa Clarita is inviting the community to attend the Sidewalk Poetry Reading Dedication at The MAIN, located at 24266 Main Street in Old Town Newhall, on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 11 a.m.
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2022
Enjoy an intimate evening of live music with one of the nation’s brightest up-and-comers at the next “LOCALS ONLY!” show.
Tuesday, Sep 20, 2022
The city of Santa Clarita invites non-profit organizations interested in learning more about the 2023 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants Program to a webinar via Zoom on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 a.m.

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