25 US communities where people are healthy, stay physically active, and feel great about life

Where you live matters. San Francisco pictured.

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Where you live matters. San Francisco pictured.
source
Yulia Mayorova/Shutterstock

  • Health and wellness are key components of thriving communities.
  • U.S. News & World Report released its 2018 rankings of the healthiest communities in the US.
  • The list below focuses on one of the factors used in the ranking: population health, including how many people participate in physical activity, life expectancy, and mental health.
  • Olmsted County, Minnesota has the healthiest population in the country, according to the rankings. Falls Church City, Virginia, came out No. 1 overall.

The roughly 144,000 residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota are among the fittest, happiest, and longest-living people in the United States.

That’s according to the 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the healthiest communities in the country.

A number of factors were considered in the rankings, including population health, equity (think income inequality and disparity in health across different ethnic populations), education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality, and infrastructure. Falls Church City, Virginia, came out No. 1 overall.

The list below focuses exclusively on one of the factors used in the U.S. News list to determine the healthiest cities: population health, which breaks down into sub-factors such as how many people have health insurance, how many people participate in regular physical activity, rates of cancer, life expectancy, and how many poor mental health days people have every month. Colorado communities appear multiple times on the list.

Communities were also identified as urban or rural, and as “high-performing” or “up-and-coming” based on their economic performance.

Read on to learn more about the communities with the healthiest populations in the US.


25. Yankton County, South Dakota

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Patrick Ziegler/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 334

Population health score: 86

Population: 22,438

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 80.5

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 18.7%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.6


24. Custer County, South Dakota

source
turtix/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 231

Population health score: 86

Population: 8,216

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 80

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 18.2%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.5


23. Broomfield County, Colorado

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Nina B/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 3

Population health score: 87

Population: 55,889

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 80

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 11.8%

Poor mental health days per month: 3


22. Grand County, Colorado

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amadeustx/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 17

Population health score: 87

Population: 14,843

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82.7

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 12%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.1


21. Carver County, Minnesota

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Scruggelgreen/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 13

Population health score: 87

Population: 91,042

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82.8

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 14.9%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.4


20. Kauai County, Hawaii

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Oliver Le/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 106

Population health score: 88

Population: 67,091

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 81.1

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.4%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.8


19. Sioux County, Iowa

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Josejuan05/Wikimedia Commons

Overall ranking: 107

Population health score: 88

Population: 33,704

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82.9

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 20.1%

Poor mental health days per month: 3


18. Cook County, Minnesota

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Jonathunder/Wikimedia Commons

Overall ranking: 100

Population health score: 88

Population: 5,176

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 15.7%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.1


17. Johnson County, Iowa

source
Vkulikov, Wikimedia Commons

Overall ranking: 122

Population health score: 89

Population: 130,882

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82.1

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.4%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.1


16. Arlington County, Virginia

source
Facebook/Stay Arlington Virginia

Overall ranking: 31

Population health score: 89

Population: 207,627

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82.8

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 14.2%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.9


15. Hamilton County, Nebraska

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Bkell/Wikimedia Commons

Overall ranking: 247

Population health score: 89

Population: 9,124

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 80.4

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.9%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.6


14. Sedgwick County, Colorado

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Scott McLeod/Flickr

Overall ranking: 164

Population health score: 89

Population: 2,379

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 78.2

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.7%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.4


13. Maui County, Hawaii

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MNStudio/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 227

Population health score: 90

Population: 154,834

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 81

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 17.2%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.9


12. Falls Church City, Virginia

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Famartin/Wikimedia Commons

Overall ranking: 1

Population health score: 90

Population: 12,332

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 81.8

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 20.7%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.8


11. Montgomery County, Maryland

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Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 93

Population health score: 90

Population: 971,777

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 81.5

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 15.7%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.9


10. King County, Washington

source
Facebook/Visit Seattle

Overall ranking: 319

Population health score: 90

Population: 1,931,249

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 81.4

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 13.5%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.1


9. Fairfax County, Virginia

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Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 21

Population health score: 91

Population: 1,081,726

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 83.7

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 15.6%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.6


8. Ouray County, Colorado

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Bede735/Wikimedia Commons

Overall ranking: 9

Population health score: 92

Population: 4,436

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 83.0

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 12.3%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.1


7. Marin County, California

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Dana Smith/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 91

Population health score: 92

Population: 252,409

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 83.8

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 11%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.4


6. Santa Clara County, California

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Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz/Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 161

Population health score: 93

Population: 1,781,642

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 83.1

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 15.2%

Poor mental health days per month: 3


5. Summit County, Colorado

source
Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 26

Population health score: 93

Population: 27,994

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 86.8

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 8.4%

Poor mental health days per month: 3


4. San Mateo County, California

source
Shutterstock

Overall ranking: 61

Population health score: 94

Population: 718,451

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 83.1

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 15.6%

Poor mental health days per month: 3


3. Winnishiek County, Iowa

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Bobak Ha’Eri/Wikimedia Commons

Overall ranking: 22

Population health score: 94

Population: 21,056

Type of community: Rural, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82.6

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 16.9%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.9


2. San Francisco County, California

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Richard Heyes/flickr

Overall ranking: 426

Population health score: 95

Population: 805,235

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 15.6%

Poor mental health days per month: 3.3


1. Olmsted County, Minnesota

source
Facebook/Visit Rochester, Minnesota

Overall ranking: 109

Population health score: 100

Population: 144,248

Type of community: Urban, high-performing

Life expectancy: 82.2

Adults with no leisure-time physical activity: 16.6%

Poor mental health days per month: 2.6