2017 Healthiest Places to Live Methodology

The 2017 Healthiest Places ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the general levels of health among residents in an area. This grade takes into account key indicators of personal health, such as smoking, excessive alcoholic consumption, rates of obesity, as well as the availability and proximity of fitness facilities, doctors, and mental health practitioners, in an attempt to measure an area’s performance in health and fitness. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Physical Inactivity The rate of adults (at the county level) who do not report any leisure-time physical activity. CDC 30.0%
Obesity The rate of adults (at the county level) who have a body mass index of 30 or higher. CDC 20.0%
Access to Doctors A measure of both the proximity (per square mile) and the availability (per capita) of Offices of Physicians. Niche 10.0%
Access to Mental Health Providers A measure of both the proximity (per square mile) and the availability (per capita) of Offices of Mental Health Practitioners. Niche 10.0%
Access to Recreation/Fitness Facilities A measure of both the proximity (per square mile) and the availability (per capita) of Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers. Niche 10.0%
Excessive Drinking The rate of adults (at the county level) who report heavy drinking (a weekly average of eight or more drinks for women or 15 or more drinks for men) or binge drinking (consuming in a single occasion four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men in the last 30 days). CDC 10.0%
Smoking The rate of adults (at the county level) who smoke “most days.” CDC 10.0%

This ranking assesses 228 places in the U.S. The same methodology is used to produce the Health & Fitness Grade for each ranked place. Statistics are primarily obtained from the U.S. Census and represent the most recent data available.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.