There are two parts to every great healthy city. The first is access to quality and affordable health care. The second is promoting and enabling a healthy lifestyle for its residents through infrastructure and amenities. With this in mind, Livability.com has named Minneapolis the Top 10 Healthiest City, 2015. Minneapolis provides residents with exercise opportunities, good food choices and strong support networks to help live healthy lives.
Livability.com explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. They examine issues related to livability such as walkability, cultural amenities, transportation, urban planning, and sustainability through exclusive research and discussions on their blog.
The editors at Livability.com looked at data compiled by the County Healthcare Rankings as well as spending data from Esri to find places with quality and affordable health care. They analyzed several measures of healthy communities such as the adult obesity rate, the percent of residents with access to healthy food and other stats. Also factored in were the number of hospitals, ratio of doctors to residents and more.
In addition, the editors looked into city infrastructure to promote healthy living, like access to farmers markets and parks, walkability, man-made amenities such as golf courses, as well as natural amenities. Additionally factored in was data from the EPA about the environmental components of a healthy city such as clean air and water.
“The link between cities and health is increasingly clear,” says Livability editor Matt Carmichael. “It’s not enough to have a great hospital to take care of you when you’re sick. The city itself can help you lead a healthier life.”
The Minneapolis park system covers nearly 17 percent of the city.. On top of offering activities from hiking and biking to swimming, kayaking and cross-country skiing, recreational centers and health clubs provide even more indoor exercise options. Fewer than 14 percent of residents smoke, while more than 87 percent participate in physical activities on a regular basis. Minneapolis ranks well in health-care statistics, and less than 11 percent of residents are uninsured, and most get annual checkups and health screenings. Recycling, composting, and walking or biking to work is a way of life for many of the people living in Minneapolis, and the downtown farmers market makes it easy for residents to get healthy foods.
Top 10 Healthiest Cities, 2015
1. Minneapolis, MN
2. Cambridge, MA
3. Madison, WI
4. Miami, FL
5. Bridgeport, CT
6. Arlington, VA
7. Santa Ana, CA
8. Honolulu, HI
9. Fort Collins, CO
10. Yonkers, NY