The healthiest major metropolitan area in the United States is Boston, MA, according to a score put together by the team at NerdWallet last week. Scores for cities were calculated using the American Fitness Index, rates of health insurance coverage and doctors per capita, and air quality. Boston secured the top spot for human health with its universal health coverage law, high number of doctors and several programs aimed at combating childhood obesity and prenatal health care.
While Boston is the most progressive in health care, the Pacific Northwest maintains its reputation for health with Seattle, WA and Portland, OR ranking at 2 and 3 respectively. Both cities have among the cleanest air in the U.S. and rank high for fitness and health care as well. Governments in Washington and Oregon have both launched programs to promote physical fitness and healthy eating. Seattle is also a hub for social enterprises, hosting a large number of new companies devoted to improving quality of life for all citizens.
Rounding out the top five healthiest cities were Minneapolis, MN at number 4 and Hartford Connecticut at number 5. The least healthy cities were Riverside, CA, Houston and Los Angeles. The Riverside-Los Angeles area experiences the highest amount of ozone pollution in the country, and both have the fourth highest amount of particle pollution for year round and short term concentrations. The top five most polluted cities are all in Southern California, while cities like San Francisco and San Jose are in the top ten for the healthiest city rankings.