When people are choosing where to live, they consider many factors. For some people, living in a catchment area for top schools is a priority, while for others, affordability is a bigger concern. Another consideration people may make when deciding where to call home is whether an area is healthy. Some of the factors that indicate whether a location is healthy are the general health of the population, the environment, access to food and nutrition, whether people have health insurance, and the economy. If living in a healthy location is a priority for you, here are the 20 healthiest places to live in the U.S..
20. Williamson County, Tennessee
Just making it onto the list of the healthiest places to live in the U.S., Williamson County in Tennessee has a population of 225,389. It scored highly for the economy, community vitality, and population health. Williamson County is also a family-friendly place to live, as the schools are highly rated, and there are activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Furthermore, there are job opportunities in various industries, and there are good health and fitness facilities across the county. On the flip side of the coin, the cost of living in Williamson County is above average. However, it is arguably worth the higher cost of living for the lifestyle on offer in this area.
19. Morgan County, Utah
Morgan County is a county in northern Utah that is part of the Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem UT Combined Statistical Area. It is home to 9,469 people, and the county seat is Morgan. The low population is a reflection of the low density of people living in this county, which is primarily because the center of the county is mountainous. There is a direct correlation between healthiness and population density, as areas with low population density often have better health. Of the factors considered to determine healthiness, Morgan County scored highly for population health and economy. Although there are many other positive elements to life in this community, it is worth noting that the cost of living is above average.
18. Grundy County, Iowa
The health-related areas in which Grundy County received high scores were population health and infrastructure. Additionally, Grundy County has many more excellent features that make it a great place to live. These include above-average schools, many employment opportunities, an affordable cost of living, and many leisure activities for the residents to enjoy in their leisure time. Grundy County is part of the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Metropolitan Statistical Area, and it has 50,063 residents.
17. Bremer County, Iowa
Bremer County in Iowa has a population of 24,276, and the county seat is Waverley. The county is named after the Swedish feminist writer Frederika Bremer. Some of the downsides of living in Bremer County are a lack of diversity and limited outdoor activities. However, the county has many positives, including highly-rated schools, jobs in many sectors, a reasonable cost of living, and good transport links. It is also ranked as one of the healthiest places to live in the United States, and this ranking is mainly based on the population’s health and the infrastructure.
16. Howard County, Maryland
Howard County in Maryland received high scores in the population health and economy categories, and it is these scores that have given this county its position on the list. The areas in which it scores less well are infrastructure and access to food and nutrition. In relation to other factors that people consider when choosing where to live, Howard County has many plus points. Some of the county’s positive features include a wide range of leisure activities, things to enjoy in the evenings, jobs in various sectors, outstanding public schools, and a diverse community. On the other hand, living in such a great area comes at a cost, as the general cost of living is high.
15. Hunterdon County, New Jersey
There are many reasons why Hunterdon County in New Jersey is ranked in the 20 healthiest places to live, and it scores particularly highly for education, economy, and population health. Aside from the factors that relate to health, there are many other reasons why people enjoy a good lifestyle in this community. These include many leisure activities to suit all ages at any time of the day or night, a diverse job market, and decent housing options. Like many of the best places to live, the cost of living is high in this area. Hunterdon County is home to 124,823 people.
14. Delaware County, Ohio
Delaware County is consistently ranked as one of the highest-income counties in the United States, and there is a direct link between income and health. Not only are those with higher incomes more likely to have health insurance and access to healthcare, but they also have a greater chance of having healthy and nutritional diets. Therefore, the high level of income is probably one of the reasons that Delaware County is one of the healthiest places to live in the U.S.
13. Sioux County, Iowa
Sioux County is a county in Iowa with a population of 33,704 residents, and its county seat is Orange City, although the largest city in the county is Sioux Center. Many of the schools are highly rated, and there are plenty of family-oriented activities to enjoy, so it is a great place to live for families. However, it also suits young professionals and retirees, as there is a strong job market, community diversity, good nightlife, and lots of outdoor activities to enjoy. In terms of being one of the healthiest places to live in the United States, Sioux County scores highly for population health and consistently across all other factors.
12. Hamilton County, Indiana
Hamilton County is a landlocked county in Indiana, of which the county seat is Noblesville. It is part of the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson Metropolitan Statistical Area. Hamilton County is a fantastic option for families due to the array of family-oriented activities and outstanding public schools. There are also many employment opportunities in a variety of sectors. Unlike many places that have multiple positive features, the cost of living in Hamilton County is also reasonable. In terms of health, this location has a strong economy, which has a positive impact on the county’s residents.
11. Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
Ozaukee County in Wisconsin has one of the highest scores for population health and scores consistently in other areas. It sits alongside Lake Michigan, and the Milwaukee River runs through the county. It is home to some beautiful outdoor spaces, including Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area and Mequon Nature Preserve. Therefore, those who live in this county can enjoy various outdoor recreational activities, which promotes good health; hence this area ranks highly for population health. Furthermore, this county boasts highly-rated public schools, a vibrant nightlife, and a diverse employment market.
10. San Miguel County, Colorado
The areas in which San Miguel County in Colorado scored the highest were the environment and access to food and nutrition. Generally, this location scored well across the board and only received a low score for the availability of housing. According to Niche, other reasons to live in this community include a decent job market, good transport links, and highly-rated public schools. San Miguel County’s only downside is the high cost of living.
9. Summit County, Utah
Access to outdoor spaces and increased opportunities to spend time enjoying outdoor recreational activities is one of the reasons why Summit County in Utah is one of the healthiest places to live. Some outdoor spaces include Salt Lake, Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and Ashley National Forest. It is also why it has the fourth-lowest obesity prevalence. It also has great schools and a diverse employment market. The downside of living in this community is the high cost of living. Summit County is home to 41,403 people.
8. Pitkin County, Colorado
Not only is Pitkin County the eighth healthiest place to live in the United States overall, but it is also the third healthiest place for low obesity prevalence. One of the main reasons for this is that residents have access to lots of outdoor space, so people who live in this area are more likely to enjoy spending time outdoors. Along with environmental factors, Pitkin County also tanks highly for population health.
7. Carver County, Minnesota
In addition to ranking seventh overall in the healthiest places to live in the United States, Carver County is also the third healthiest place to live for good health outcomes, says Today. One reason for this is that the area has a strong economy, which increases the likelihood that people have health insurance and lowers the risk of them developing mental health problems. Other positive features of life in Carver County include excellent schools, family-oriented activities, and plenty of employment opportunities.
6. Loudon County, Virginia
Loudon County in Virginia is a suburb of Washington D.C. the factors that have contributed to this community ranking in a high position include outstanding education, good walkability, decent health insurance coverage, and low rates of deaths from suicides. Aside from being one of the healthiest places to live, there are many more reasons to consider calling this community your home, including lots of leisure activities for people of all ages, a varied job market, community diversity, and a strong housing market.
5. Routt County, Colorado
Routt County in Colorado scores highly for general population health, the environment, and infrastructure. Like most other areas of Colorado, the residents benefit from access to outdoor spaces and the opportunity for exercise that these spaces offer. Other positive aspects of this area include many outstanding schools, decent nightlife, and good transport links.
4. Broomfield County, Colorado
A strong economy and good infrastructure are two of the reasons why Broomfield County in Colorado is in the fourth position. Areas with a strong economy are linked to better health. Residents of the county also live in a location that gives them access to the outdoors and a wide range of recreational activities, which means they enjoy exercise as part of their lifestyle.
3. Falls Church, Virginia
There are many factors that have put Falls Church so high on the list of the healthiest places to live in the United States. It ranks highly for walkability, so people spend time outdoors and get enough exercise. Falls Church also scores well for health insurance coverage, and this is probably thanks to the strong economy and job market in the area. It also has one of the lowest rates of death from suicide in the U.S., which indicates that Falls Church residents are likely to have lower rates of mental health issues.
2. Douglas County, Colorado
Part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan statistical area, Douglas County sits just outside Denver and is predominantly a suburban area. Like many of the other suburban areas of major cities on this list, Douglas County has good access to fresh food, there is higher spending on education per capita, and residents have access to parks and other outdoor spaces. Douglas County ranked particularly highly for both population health and infrastructure.
1. Los Alamos County, New Mexico
According to US News, the healthiest place to live in the U.S. is Los Alamos County, so it is the ideal place to live for those who prioritize health. Its prime position is thanks to this community ranking highly for many factors considered when deciding which are the healthiest places to live. It has low preventable hospital admissions, low racial segregation, good quality drinking water, access to parks, excellent educational opportunities, and affordable housing. One of the most important factors was education, as a good education leads to white-collar jobs, and these often come with health insurance.
Written by Liz Flynn
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