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Healthiest cities in America

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Pixabay

Healthiest cities in America

It’s undeniable: Health is certainly on the minds of many Americans this time of year. With the start of each year comes the commitment from many of us to move more, eat less, and generally embrace a healthier lifestyle. According to a survey from Inc., about 71% of Americans have set out to eat healthier in 2020 while 65% want to exercise more. Another 54% want to lose weight. Twenty-one percent want to quit smoking, and 15% want to drink less.

But while it’s one thing to embrace a healthy mindset, it’s another to actually stick to it. Where you live plays an important role in reaching and maintaining your health goals. It’s a lot easier when your entire community is committed to living healthy with you. The route to healthy living involves many factors, such as outdoor space, work/life balance, weather conditions, access to education—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Where we live can have a huge impact on our choices and overall health.

Believe it or not, there are dozens of cities in America where you can not only make health-conscious New Year’s resolutions, but you might actually stick to them, too. Personal practice requires a lot of discipline, but it’s not so difficult to stay motivated when your friends, family, and neighbors are right there with you.

To determine the most health-conscious cities, Stacker looked to Niche's 2019 Healthiest Places to Live rankings, which take into account factors such as smoking, regular alcohol consumption, access to gyms, physicians and mental health professionals, and obesity rates to rank overall health. For each city, we've included Niche's data on public schools and overall health grades. Surprisingly (or, rather, unsurprisingly), 21 of the 50 cities are in California.

Did your city make the cut? Read on to see. If not, consider this a comprehensive guide to finding a city that suits your “new year, new you” needs.

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Pixabay

#50. Colorado Springs, Colorado

- Population: 450,000
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: B
--- Health grade: A

What makes Colorado Springs such a healthy place to live? A sheer abundance of things to do outdoors. Colorado Springs has over 9,000 acres of parkland and 500 acres of trails, including sites like the Garden of the Gods and Manitou Incline Trail. Many other natural areas of the city include forests, canyons, streams, grasslands, and mesas. It’s a city marked by stunning natural beauty, and it has a relatively low population at just under half a million people, which translates to a good ratio of people to outdoor space.

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JD // Flickr

#49. Boston, Massachusetts

- Population: 669,158
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: C
--- Health grade: A

At nearly 400 years old, Boston is one of America's greatest historic cities. It also ranks as the 49th healthiest place to live in America. While Boston didn't score stellar marks in public schools and housing, it absolutely aced the nightlife and diversity categories. In fact, over the last 40 years, Boston has transformed. In the 1970s, the city was about 70% white. Today, white people make up less than half of the city's population. Boston is also a demographically young city, with the highest proportion of 20 to 34-year-olds among the 25 largest cities in the country. Boston’s residents are also highly educated, which often translates to better health. The proportion of college-educated residents in Boston is 86.1%.

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Andypiper // Flickr

#48. Ann Arbor, Michigan

- Population: 119,303
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A

Just 45 minutes from Detroit sits this small college town that consistently earns accolades as being one of the best places to live in the United States. The pocket-sized town of just 119,303 residents is teeming with restaurants, coffee shops, and green space. It earns perfect and near-perfect scores for quality of living categories like public schools, diversity, healthcare, and more. It is home to the University of Michigan, which is one of only three public institutions in the country that are included in the top 21 of the 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

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Roman Eugeniusz // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Paradise, Nevada

- Population: 231,858
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: C+
--- Health grade: A

Paradise, Nevada has stellar marks for weather and outdoor activities, so it's no surprise that health and fitness would also earn this city a near-perfect score. Seeing as Paradise is right next door to Las Vegas, nightlife and entertainment options abound. It's also one of the most diverse places in the country to live.

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Susan E Adams // Flickr

#46. Richardson, Texas

- Population: 111,055
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A

A booming tech economy and rising Millennial population is keeping this Dallas suburb young. Because of the youthful energy being pumped into the city, there’s always something to do, from bars and restaurants to outdoor activities like breaking a sweat on the Richardson Trail System, which has over 40 miles of trails. There are also beautiful waterfalls to be discovered at Prairie Creek Park. The city also has the fourth most diverse school district in Texas.

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Mitchell Friedman // Flickr

#45. Atlanta, Georgia

- Population: 465,230
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: C+
--- Health grade: A

A relatively low cost of living and an income median that is higher than the national median is pulling young residents to Atlanta in droves. The largest age group in Atlanta is the Millennials, with 20% of the city comprising people 25- 34-years-old. It turns out millennials see Atlanta as the number two city in the nation for value. A recent survey from The Langston Co. ranked metropolitan cities by more than 40 different categories spanning culture and career to climate, taxes, salary, schools, etc. Atlanta was praised for its culture, people, food, job opportunities, and cost of living.

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Bkell // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Lincoln, Nebraska

- Population: 277,315
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A

Families looking to settle down may want to consider Lincoln, Nebraska. Not only did it score big with outdoor activities and health and fitness, but it has one of the best-rated school systems in the country. There are roughly 40,000 students enrolled throughout Lincoln Public Schools, with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. This is better than the national average teacher to student ratio, which is 16 to 1.

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Michael Jolley // Flickr

#43. Provo, Utah

- Population: 116,199
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: B+
--- Health grade: A

For health-conscious living, Provo, Utah is coming in hot. In 2014, Gallup ranked Provo as one of the healthiest places to live in America with a Well-Being Index score of 71.4. On top of that, Provo has a low crime rate, top-rated education, and affordable housing.

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Craig Conley // Wikipedia

#42. Anaheim, California

- Population: 349,007
- Overall Niche grade: B-
--- Public schools grade: B-
--- Health grade: A

For eating healthy and reducing stress, Anaheim, California is topping the charts. According to House Method, which ranked the 100 largest cities in the U.S. on common New Year's resolutions, Anaheim came in first for eating healthy and reducing stress. It was fourth for exercise.

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Todd Carpenter // Flickr

#41. Lakewood, Colorado

- Population: 151,411
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A

Lakewood, Colorado boasts a parcel of enviable real estate, being just a quick drive from the Rocky Mountains, as well as a stone’s throw from Downtown Denver. It used to be the case that people lived in Lakewood and would commute to Denver for work. Today, Lakewood has become a thriving nucleus of opportunity all its own, with a highly rated public school system and an unemployment rate of just 2.4%, which is below the national average.

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Tuxyso // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Ventura, California

- Population: 110,153
- Overall Niche grade: B
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A

Ventura, California ranks on Livability’s list of the top 100 places to live year after year. Of the many reasons, its opportunity for a healthy lifestyle ranks highly. From outdoor activities like surfing and hiking to the five college campuses that keep the city vibrant and young, there's no shortage of things to do or learn. Year-round warm weather and an artistic community certainly help seal the deal.

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Liji Jinaraj // Flickr

#39. Salt Lake City, Utah

- Population: 194,188
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B+
--- Health grade: A

Though it used to be a stronghold for the Mormon religion, Salt Lake City has certainly reinvented itself as a hip, healthy spot for families and young professionals. With a plethora of coffee shops and cocktail bars, as well as the Wasatch Mountains in the background, it's an entertaining place to settle down. It’s also teeming with outdoor opportunities. In fact, in 2018, real estate site Trulia named Salt Lake City as the healthiest city in the United States.

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Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Plano, Texas

- Population: 281,566
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A

Tucked away from the frenetic activity of Dallas, but close enough for residents to enjoy access, arts, and entertainment, Plano, Texas is one of the healthiest places to live in America. With affordable housing, highly rated public schools, and top-notch healthcare, it's no wonder it's gaining traction. In fact, in 2014, Time magazine chose Plano as one of America's 10 healthiest places, based on its low crime rate, diversity in athletics, and health training.

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Steve D // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Long Beach, California

- Population: 470,489
- Overall Niche grade: B+
--- Public schools grade: B
--- Health grade: A

It's hard to argue with Southern California living, especially for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Long Beach is no exception to the rule. It's positioned in a spot to take advantage of everything SoCal offers, from beaches and state parks to sports venues and theme parks. Oh, and let's not forget about the picture-perfect weather.

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Don DeBold // Wikimedia Commons

#36. San Jose, California

- Population: 1,023,031
- Overall Niche grade: B+
--- Public schools grade: B+
--- Health grade: A

With a beautiful, Mediterranean climate year-round, low unemployment, and a diverse community that comprises students, young professionals, families, and retirees, San Jose has all the makings of a healthy place to live. Nearby Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe offer endless outdoor activities. The graduation rate in the San Jose Unified School District is high at 86%.

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Citycommunications // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Fort Collins, Colorado

- Population: 159,150
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A

With top-rated public schools, one of the youngest median ages in the country (29), and 50 parks in the vicinity, health-conscious people are simply thriving in Fort Collins, Colorado. From the over 285 miles of bike lanes and trails to a home price appreciation rate that will outpace the rest of the country, Fort Collins is a haven of mental and physical health.

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PunkToad // Flickr

#34. Minneapolis, Minnesota

- Population: 411,452
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B-
--- Health grade: A

For being healthy, Minneapolis is scoring top marks. From a healthy mix of culture and outdoor spaces to great options for families and a diverse population, it's no wonder Minneapolis is a healthy place to live (despite its frigid winters). The 2019 annual American Fitness Index from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation named the Minneapolis-St. Paul area as the third-best city for health and fitness.

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Dean Hochman // Flickr

#33. Overland Park, Kansas

- Population: 186,147
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A

Young couples looking to raise a family may want to put Overland Park, Kansas on their radar. Why? For the fifth year in a row, the city was named the Best Place to Raise a Family by Wallethub. The finance website compared 150 of the country's largest cities, as well as the two most populated cities in each state, in categories like family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability, and socioeconomic.

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Unsplash

#32. Washington D.C.

- Population: 672,391
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B-
--- Health grade: A

The center of the political world can be a high-stress environment, but it seems the locals of Washington, D.C. are as good at taking care of their health as they are at staying in the headlines. According to WalletHub's 2019 Healthiest & Unhealthiest Cities in America, D.C. ranked as the fifth healthiest. The research compared more than 170 of the most populated U.S. cities across 42 characteristics. D.C. scored a 65.48, with high marks in food, fitness, and green space.

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Patrick Gruban // Wikimedia Commons

#31. New York City, New York

- Population: 8,560,072
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: B
--- Health grade: A+

Don't let the subways and steel fool you. New York City has actually scored an A- for being a healthy place to live. Maybe it's because New Yorkers are fitness-minded, or because there's a bounty of healthy food, or because it has some of the best universities in the country. A higher population density would account for its low marks in crime and safety, as well as housing and cost of living. But for eating right, exercise, art, and culture, New York is definitely a healthy place to live.

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Jessica O'Haver // Wikimedia Commons

#30. San Diego, California

- Population: 1,390,966
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A+

San Diegans love their city, and it's easy to see why. With year-round sunshine, beaches, a proclivity to the outdoors, and fresh food, the quality of life is extremely high, which is why the overall Niche health grade for San Diego is an A. In fact, for the past decade, San Diego has been running a campaign called Live Well San Diego, which is a vision that San Diego County started to combat the nation's rising cases of heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and respiratory conditions. The county teamed up with schools, businesses, and government agencies to promote the existing health resources that already exist in the county.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers // Flickr

#29. Roseville, California

- Population: 130,705
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A+

With healthy California living, everything's coming up Roseville. This small city of 130,705 is a haven of suburban living and is one of the best places in the country to raise a family because of its healthy lifestyle. In fact, WalletHub named Roseville the 10th best place in California to raise a family, based on family life and fun, education, health & safety, affordability, and socioeconomic environment. Most recently, Roseville's Crestmont Elementary School was named a California Distinguished School, which is an honor that demonstrates student performance and academic achievement.

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Ratul Maiti // Flickr

#28. Naperville, Illinois

- Population: 146,431
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

A suburb of Chicago, Naperville scored near-perfect marks in terms of healthy living. With an A+ in schools, housing, family life, and health & fitness, it's easy to see why it's one of America's healthiest cities. In fact, in 2019, Niche named Naperville both the best place to raise a family and a top city for public schools.

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Canva

#27. Alexandria, Virginia

- Population: 154,710
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B+
--- Health grade: A+

There must be something in the water in Alexandra, Virginia. Not only is it the country's 27th healthiest city, but according to Niche, the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps says it has one of the longest life expectancies in the country. Residents in Alexandra live an average of 83.6 years. The national average is 79.1 years.

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Canva

#26. Scottsdale, Arizona

- Population: 239,283
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A+

Scottsdale, Ariz. is in Maricopa County, which is the healthiest county in Arizona, according to County Health Rankings. In fact, Scottsdale itself is a haven for wellness for both residents and visitors. There are many spas and hotels, as well as a community that loves to get active in the surrounding desert and mountains. The constant sunshine doesn't hurt, either.

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SiddharthBharthulwar // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Los Angeles, California

- Population: 3,949,776
- Overall Niche grade: B
--- Public schools grade: C
--- Health grade: A+

While people who live in Los Angeles may have to fight traffic and urban sprawl, they make up for it with a perfect score in terms of outdoor living, diversity, weather, and nightlife. Between the coast and the mountains for a fantastic year-round climate, L.A.’s proximity to nature and the outdoors means that residents value an active lifestyle. Los Angeles has about 23,938 acres of parkland, as well as surrounding outdoor spaces from beaches to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

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Unsplash

#24. Denver, Colorado

- Population: 678,467
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B-
--- Health grade: A+

At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Plus, it's a city that's growing increasingly younger, with a median age of 34. The U.S. median age is 37.4. In 2018, Denver was the seventh "fittest" city in the U.S., as ranked by the 11th annual Fitness Index created by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

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Steve Hedin // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Orange, California

- Population: 140,289
- Overall Niche grade: B+
--- Public schools grade: B
--- Health grade: A+

With a stunning coastline, plenty of sun, and lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, Orange, California is undoubtedly one of the healthiest places in the country. While the cost of living is exceptionally high, and it's not the best job market in the country, the average person in Orange lives to be 82 years old.

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Unsplash

#22. Honolulu, Hawaii

- Population: 402,452
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: B
--- Health grade: A+

To live in Hawaii sounds like an absolute dream, and for those who live there, it kind of is. Honolulu, especially, is one of the healthiest cities in the country. This is due to environmental factors, low crime, high education rates, and its residents' longevity. Hawaii residents actually have the longest life expectancy in the country—with the average hovering around 82 years—and one of the lowest cancer mortality rates in the United States.

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Pixabay

#21. Portland, Oregon

- Population: 630,331
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B+
--- Health grade: A+

For getting outside and staying active, you can't get much better than the residents of Portland, Oregon. In fact, according to WalletHub's 2020 Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle, Portland ranked number six overall. Portland offers projects like Slow Food Portland, which works to promote local ingredients in the greater Portland area. The city has an above-average public school system and a rising level of diversity.

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Joe Haupt // Flickr

#20. Columbia, Maryland

- Population: 103,170
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A+

Over the last couple of years, Columbia, Md. has been raking in the accolades as one of the healthiest places to live in the country. WalletHub, for example, ranked Columbia as the number one safest city in America for 2019. AARP gives Columbia an index score of 63 for livability, with the highest marks for a clean environment, healthcare, social engagement, and job opportunity.

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Mike D // Flickr

#19. Oakland, California

- Population: 417,442
- Overall Niche grade: B+
--- Public schools grade: C
--- Health grade: A+

A vital part of the Bay Area, Oakland, California has been revitalized in recent years with new restaurants, bars, community areas, and a rising population looking to escape the higher rent in San Francisco. Oakland's health record is high, based on categories like diversity, outdoor lifestyle, health & fitness, commute, and diversity. In fact, Niche named Oakland the second most diverse city in America, and the 10th best city for outdoor activities.

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Elf // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Sunnyvale, California

- Population: 151,565
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A+

Sunnyvale, California is a small city with a population of 151,565. In terms of its rating for healthy living, Niche gave it an A+. With stellar marks in outdoor activities, weather, diversity, health & fitness, and more, it's also rated as one of the best cities for young professionals in the country. Sunnyvale also has some of the country's top-rated schools.

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Sherwood CC // Flickr

#17. Thousand Oaks, California

- Population: 128,909
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

For healthy living, Thousand Oaks, California is showing the rest of the country how it's done, according to Livability. That's because 89% of the population of 128,909 are non-smokers. In addition, 79% of the population are of a healthy weight, and 83% of adults report that they make time for physical activity.

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Muffinn // Flickr

#16. Sandy Springs, Georgia

- Population: 103,703
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B+
--- Health grade: A+

On the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Sandy Springs, Georgia is all about healthy living. The city is home to many Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. The city is also one of the more diverse in the country. Sandy Springs cares about improving life for its residents and has committed to numerous expansion, investment, and revitalization projects.

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MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Santa Clara, California

- Population: 124,635
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A+

The cost of living may be on the high end, but the healthy quality of life certainly makes up for it. US News & World Report gave Santa Clara a 96 in overall population health score, which looks at healthy behaviors, access to healthcare, and other factors. Life expectancy is 83.1 years old, and the smoking rate is only 8.2%, compared to the national median of 15.6%.

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Andriy Blokhin // Shutterstock

#14. Arlington, Virginia

- Population: 229,534
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

It's tough to dispute Arlington’s health-forward mentality when it ranked as America's fittest city in the 2019 American Fitness Index. According to the index, Arlington residents engaged in the most physical activity, with a third meeting the national aerobic and strength activity guidelines. Arlington also has the lowest smoking rate in the country.

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Pixabay

#13. Carlsbad, California

- Population: 113,147
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

Residents of Carlsbad, Calif. pay a premium to live there, but what they're paying for is an exceptionally healthy quality of life. From that sunny SoCal weather and ample opportunities for outdoor activities to a high proclivity toward health & fitness, Carlsbad has certainly earned its A+ rating. Its public school system is also one of the best in the nation. Carlsbad Unified School District's Aviara Oaks Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School—an award bestowed to only 312 public and 50 non-public schools in the country.

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Kilmer Media // Shutterstock

#12. Burbank, California

- Population: 104,765
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A+

Burbank, California has one of the highest life expectancies in the country, at 82.4 years of age. It also provides some of the best education opportunities. According to the 2018 City and Community Health Profiles, 65% of children are enrolled in preschool, and 63% of its public school third-graders are meeting or exceeding California standards for English language arts and literacy. In addition, 92% of adults are employed.

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Umberto Brayj // Flickr

#11. Glendale, California

- Population: 199,750
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A+

Glendale has some of the happiest and healthiest residents in the country, according to the 2018 City and Community Health Profiles. According to the report, 91% of adults in Glendale are employed. In addition, three-quarters of the adult population reports that they are receiving the social and emotional support that they need. In addition, 90% of Glendale residents have a commute of an hour or less, which greatly impacts quality of life, as it offers more free time for leisure and exercise. According to the study, those who have long commutes tend to have a higher risk of obesity.

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Don Ramey Logan // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Costa Mesa, California

- Population: 112,930
- Overall Niche grade: A-
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A+

The city of Costa Mesa within Orange County, California is the 10th healthiest city in the nation. Research shows that over the last decade, trends have moved toward a more diverse population, economic growth, and employment increases. The city is relatively young, with a median age of 34.5, and best of all, the average resident spends only 22.5 minutes commuting.

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Nelson Sirlin // Shutterstock

#9. Boulder, Colorado

- Population: 106,271
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

In 2017, National Geographic compiled its 25 Happiest Places in the United States Index. The results were based on diet, vacation time, and walkability of the city, among other factors. The winner was Boulder, Colorado. So why are Boulderites so happy? Being so close to the stunning Rocky Mountains is certainly a plus. The location inspires residents to get out and be active. Plus, there are over 300 miles of bike trails. There are also low rates of smoking and obesity. In fact, Boulder matches the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps families buy healthy food.

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Jesper Rønn-Jensen // Flickr

#8. Cambridge, Massachusetts

- Population: 110,893
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A+

Not only does Cambridge have an A+ for healthy living, but Niche has also named it the number one best city for young professionals in America. It receives perfect marks for commute time, outdoor activities, good for families, health & fitness, and nightlife, and near-perfect for public schools and diversity. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, 76.5% of the population has either a four-year bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree. The unemployment rate in Cambridge is also 1.9%.

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Wonderlane // Flickr

#7. Seattle, Washington

- Population: 688,245
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A-
--- Health grade: A+

The 2019 American Fitness Index has named Seattle as the second fittest city of 2019, factoring in how often people exercise and whether they report they're in good health. Other factors include proximity to a park, and how often you eat fresh food. Seattle also has some of the best high schools in the state of Washington.

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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Bellevue, Washington

- Population: 139,014
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

There are several factors as to why Bellevue, Washington is in the top-10 healthiest places to live in the country. Livability reports that 90% of the population is made up of non-smokers. Similarly, 78% of the population has a BMI of under 30, which is healthy for adults. Eighty-five percent of the population makes time for physical activity, as well.

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Idealphotographer // Shutterstock

#5. Pasadena, California

- Population: 141,231
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: B
--- Health grade: A+

Pasadena, California begins the countdown of the top five healthiest places in the nation. They certainly have earned their spot. Pasadena is a city that believes firmly in sustainability. In fact, it has taken numerous steps to become a green city, like the adoption of an Environmental Charter, the adoption of a Green City Action Plan, the endorsement of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, and more. Being in Southern California, the city also boasts a plethora of outdoor activities, fantastic weather, diversity, and a high number of health and fitness options.

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Cardinalngold // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Torrance, California

- Population: 147,190
- Overall Niche grade: A
--- Public schools grade: A
--- Health grade: A+

Torrance, California provides an exceptional quality of life for its residents. So much so, that according to the 2018 City and Community Health Profiles, the average life expectancy is 83.5. Ninety-four percent of adults in Torrance are employed, and 71% say that they are receiving the social and emotional support they need. In 2016, 73% of voters voted in the general election. According to the report, "Voter turnout is a measure of civic engagement. Communities that are civically engaged have more power to advocate for health-promoting policies."

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Vince Huang // Flickr

#3. San Francisco, California

- Population: 864,263
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: B+
--- Health grade: A+

Don't let the high cost-of-living fool you. The residents of San Francisco are paying for one of the highest levels of health in the country. San Franciscans are spoiled with outdoor space, with more than 4,100 acres in over 200 parks. The city is also poised at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, with ample opportunity for scenic drives, bikes, walks, or hikes in the vicinity. As one of the global hubs for startups, job opportunities are aplenty with a 2% unemployment rate.

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SimplyCVR // Flickr

#2. Irvine, California

- Population: 256,877
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

It's tough to top Irvine, California for healthy living. The southern California city of 256,877 has one of the lowest smoking rates in the country at just 11%. Eighty percent of the population is at a healthy weight, and 85% of the population finds time to be active. Niche has also named Irvine as the third-best suburb of Los Angeles in which to live.

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Pixabay

#1. Berkeley, California

- Population: 120,179
- Overall Niche grade: A+
--- Public schools grade: A+
--- Health grade: A+

But for the absolute healthiest city in America, Berkeley, California tops the charts. With a high level of education—almost 70% of residents have an Associate's degree or higher—230 acres of parkland, a high median household income, and a walkability of 81, Berkeley provides a space for its residents that values well-being, education, community, and happiness.

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