46. Virginia: Charlottesville
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 298.7 (state: 318.9)
> Adult obesity rate: 25.6% (state: 28.8%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 11.4% (state: 9.9%)
> Median household income: $66,853 (state: $71,535)
Charlottesville ranks as the healthiest of Virginia’s nine metro areas, largely due to the prevalence of healthy behaviors among the city’s residents. For example, 80% of adults in Charlottesville exercise regularly, the largest share of metro areas in the state and more than the roughly 78% of adults across Virginia as a whole who are physically active. Additionally, just 15.2% of metro area adults smoke, and 25.6% are obese, each the smallest share of any metro area in the state.
47. Washington: Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 273.0 (state: 288.7)
> Adult obesity rate: 25.6% (state: 27.6%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 6.0% (state: 6.9%)
> Median household income: $82,133 (state: $70,979)
Of the 11 metro areas in Washington state, Seattle is the healthiest. Just 11.6% of adults in the metro area report being in fair or poor health, below both the 13.9% state and 16.0% national shares. Adults in Seattle are also more likely to exercise and less likely to smoke or be obese than adults across the state as a whole.
Adults with a college education tend to have higher incomes and are better equipped to make healthy lifestyle choices than those without a college degree. In Seattle, 41.9% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, well above the state bachelor’s degree attainment rate of 35.5% and the national rate of 32.0%.
48. West Virginia: Morgantown
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 355.5 (state: 492.7)
> Adult obesity rate: 31.3% (state: 36.3%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 6.8% (state: 6.5%)
> Median household income: $49,475 (state: $43,469)
While Morgantown is the healthiest city in West Virginia, residents in the metro area are less healthy than the average American by several measures. Some 20.3% of adults in Morgantown smoke, for example, the smallest share of any city in the state yet higher than the 17.0% national smoking rate. Similarly, some 31.3% of adults in Morgantown are obese, the smallest share of any metro area in the state yet far above the 28.5% national obesity rate.
Tobacco use and obesity can increase the risk of certain serious diseases and conditions and raise the likelihood of premature death overall. In Morgantown, 356 in every 100,000 residents die before the age of 75 annually, less than the state rate of 493 per 100,000 yet greater than the national rate of 340 premature deaths per 100,000 Americans.
49. Wisconsin: Appleton
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 267.0 (state: 308.5)
> Adult obesity rate: 29.3% (state: 31.1%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 5.3% (state: 6.3%)
> Median household income: $65,990 (state: $59,305)
Just 14.7% of adults in Appleton smoke and just 29.3% are obese, each less than the corresponding state rates of 17.1% and 31.1%. Tobacco use and obesity are two of the leading causes of preventable death. In Appleton, 267 in every 100,000 residents die before age 75 annually — less than the state rate of 309 per 100,000 and one of the lowest premature death rates of any city nationwide.
Income is one of the primary determinants of health, and areas with lower poverty rates tend to have better health outcomes. In Appleton, just 6.9% of residents live in poverty, far less than the state’s 11.3% poverty rate and the smallest rate of any metro area in the state.
50. Wyoming: Cheyenne
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 358.1 (state: 348.5)
> Adult obesity rate: 30.5% (state: 28.5%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 10.7% (state: 13.4%)
> Median household income: $61,961 (state: $60,434)
Of the two metro areas in Wyoming — Cheyenne and Casper — Cheyenne ranks as the healthiest. Some 22.9% of adults in Cheyenne do not exercise regularly, a lower inactivity rate than the 24.5% in Casper and the 23.1% across Wyoming as a whole. Similarly, 30.5% of adults in Cheyenne are obese, less than the obesity rate of 31.5% in Casper, yet higher than the 28.5% obesity rate statewide.
Obesity and sedentary lifestyles can increase the risk of premature death. In Cheyenne, 358 in every 100,000 residents die before the age of 75, less than the premature death rate in Casper of 387 deaths per 100,000 residents.