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News / Health / Health Wire

Study says Washington is home to four of the healthiest cities in the country; Vancouver is No. 57

Seattle lands in the top 5

By Rosemary Montalvo, The News Tribune
Published: April 7, 2024, 6:05am

TACOMA — Have you ever wondered if or how where you live affects your health?

A new study conducted by Wallethub found that where you live does matter when it comes to health, and depending on the effectiveness of your city’s wellness promotions, it can impact your ability to stay healthy.

The Wallethub comparison looked at 182 cities and identified the healthiest and unhealthiest cities in the country. The study listed four cities in Washington. One was ranked among the top three healthiest cities: Seattle.

Healthiest cities in U.S.

The four key dimensions the study used to determine the healthiest cities in the country were health care, food, fitness and green space. All key dimensions were evaluated using 57 metrics that ranged from the cost of a medical visit to fruit and vegetable consumption to the share of physically active adults.

The top five healthiest places to live in the U.S., according to the study, are:

  • San Francisco, California
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Seattle, Washington
  • San Diego, California
  • Washington, D.C.

What makes Seattle one of the healthiest cities in America?

If you live in or around Seattle, it is no surprise that the Emerald City was ranked the third-healthiest city in America.

According to the study, Seattle has one of the highest physical activity rates in the country and has one of the highest spending per capita when it comes to parks and recreation.

“The Emerald City is among the greenest cities in America, too. Having a clean environment and promoting sustainability help boost residents’ health,” according to Wallethub.

The study also found that Seattle residents search Google for health-related terms more than people in other cities. Searches include “healthy dinner ideas” and “health food stores” which is an indicator that Seattleites are interested in having a healthy diet.

Although Seattle is among the healthiest cities in the country, the study also found that it has among the highest costs for medical visits. Seattle was tied for #177 with four other cities including Anchorage and Milwaukee for having the highest cost for a medical visit.

What other WA cities are among the healthiest cities?

Three other cities in Washington state were also ranked among the healthiest and unhealthiest cities. Vancouver, Tacoma and Spokane all ranked among the top 75 cities in the study.

This is where these three Washington cities ranked, according to the study:

  • 57 — Vancouver
  • 69 — Tacoma
  • 72 — Spokane

Although Spokane ranked the lowest among the four cities, it is known for its high number of mental health counselors per capita.