16. Kansas: Manhattan
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 268.6 (state: 348.7)
> Adult obesity rate: 26.4% (state: 33.2%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 8.3% (state: 9.9%)
> Median household income: $50,698 (state: $56,422)
Manhattan ranks as the healthiest metro area in Kansas and one of the healthiest in the United States. Adults in the metro area tend to report relatively little time spent in a state of poor physical or mental health.
Children born with low birthweight — defined as under 2,500 grams, or about 5.5 pounds — are more likely to be exposed to immediate and future health issues. A high rate of low birthweight in a given area can also be an indicator of poor health among mothers in the area. Manhattan has the 11th lowest rate of low birthweight of the 382 metro areas measured. Low birthweight rates are a potential risk factor for premature mortality, and Manhattan has the lowest premature death rate of any metro area in the state.
17. Kentucky: Lexington-Fayette
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 400.5 (state: 471.7)
> Adult obesity rate: 30.0% (state: 34.2%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 6.7% (state: 6.0%)
> Median household income: $58,069 (state: $48,375)
The obesity rate in the Lexington-Fayette metro area of 30.0% is higher than the national rate of 28.5% but the lowest of the five metro areas in Kentucky. Physically active lifestyles can help in maintaining a healthy weight, and in Lexington, just 23.2% of adults get no exercise beyond getting up and going to work, the lowest physical inactivity rate of any metro area in the state.
Adults with a college education tend to lead healthier lives. In Lexington, 37.5% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, well above the state bachelor’s attainment rate of 24.0% and the national rate of 32.0%.
18. Louisiana: Baton Rouge
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 437.5 (state: 452.5)
> Adult obesity rate: 33.2% (state: 35.3%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 10.2% (state: 11.8%)
> Median household income: $57,401 (state: $46,145)
Louisiana’s nine metropolitan areas do not compare well to the U.S. as a whole in many key measures of health behavior or outcomes. But among these, Baton Rouge ranks as the best of the lot. While the capital city’s adult smoking rate of 18.1% is higher than the national rate of 17.0%, it is still the lowest in the state. The same goes for the city’s adult obesity rate of 33.2%, which, while higher than the national rate of 28.5% is still better than any other metro area in the state. Louisiana has five metro areas among the 10 with the highest obesity rates in the country.
19. Maine: Portland-South Portland
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 298.9 (state: 337.8)
> Adult obesity rate: 26.4% (state: 29.4%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 8.4% (state: 10.1%)
> Median household income: $68,570 (state: $56,277)
Portland is the only metro area in Maine where adults report fewer than four mentally unhealthy days per month on average. This positive outcome in the area is partially due to a greater prevalence of healthy lifestyles. For example, just 26.4% of adults in the metro area are obese, the lowest obesity rate of Maine’s three metro areas and below the 29.4% statewide obesity rate. The coastal city also has the lowest smoking rate in the state and is home to a larger share of adults who exercise regularly than the state average.
20. Maryland: California-Lexington Park
> Premature death rate (per 100,000): 322.8 (state: 335.8)
> Adult obesity rate: 35.5% (state: 30.3%)
> Rate of uninsured people under 65: 5.6% (state: 7.0%)
> Median household income: $81,495 (state: $80,776)
California-Lexington Park is the only metro area in Maryland where adults report fewer than three physically unhealthy days per month on average. Additionally, just 11.3% of metro area residents report being in fair or poor health, the smallest share of any of the state’s five metro areas and well below the 13.9% share of adults across Maryland as a whole.
Americans with higher incomes are often able to afford a greater range of healthy options related to diet and lifestyle as well as better access to health care. In the California-Lexington Park metro area, the typical household earns $81,495 a year, the most of any of the five metro areas in the state.