Highlights of the City's rankings:
- 4.0% of population with no health insurance (national median: 10.6%)
- 9.3% smoking rate (national median: 21.1%)
- 81.6 years life expectancy (national median: 77.5 years)
- 97.0% high school graduation rate (national median: 89.3%)
- 81.8% of population with advanced degree (national median: 29.8)
- 2.0% unemployment rate (national median: 3.7%)
- 3.2% poverty rate (national median: 14.2%)
- 6.6% diabetes prevalence (national median: 10.5%)
- 23.8% obesity prevalence (national median: 35.5%)
- 157.6 per 100k violent crime rate (national median: 204.6 per 100k)
- 91.4% voter participation rate (national median: 66.0%)
- 98.6% of population with broadband (national median: 92.4%)
- 16.2 walkability index score (national median: 6.1)
Excerpted from the publication's news release:
U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation, an independent, charitable and philanthropic affiliate of CVS Health, today released the fourth annual Healthiest Communities rankings. This year's rankings are accompanied by tools highlighting county-level COVID-19 vaccine rates and other pandemic data, as well as editorial explorations of equity and mental health – key components that can shape overall health and well-being. . . .
The 2021 rankings are accompanied by editorial pieces exploring, for example, connections between community vaccine data and other health-related metrics. . . .
The Healthiest Communities rankings and accompanying analysis are based on an evaluation of approximately 3,000 communities nationwide across 84 health and health-related metrics in 10 categories, from Education and Population Health to Infrastructure and Environment. The project serves as a tool to inform residents, community health leaders and elected officials about policies and best practices for better health outcomes by assessing which communities offer their citizens the greatest opportunity to live a productive, healthy life.
To compile the rankings and create the overall Healthiest Communities project, U.S. News partnered with the University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems (CARES), a research institution skilled in community health assessment. Overall, the rankings are based on metrics drawn from sources such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Much of the data used to compile the 2021 Healthiest Communities rankings came from periods predating the COVID-19 pandemic and would not have been affected by the pandemic's impact on communities.