With health, medicine, viruses and vaccines currently at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it may come as some relief to know that San Francisco is the healthiest city in America! (Again.)
In a new report by WalletHub, 2021’s Healthiest & Unhealthiest Cities in America, San Francisco achieved this year’s top overall score as the healthiest place to live in the U.S. We beat other techy, trendy, high-value hotspots like Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Austin, TX. We even bested Honolulu, HI, where rugged surfers and year-round beach bodies are the norm (so I’m told).
So, how did we secure the “Healthiest City” crown? WalletHub analyzed 182 cities in the U.S., including the 150 most populous cities overall and at least two of the most populous cities in each state. The analysis looked at four criteria.
WalletHub’s Healthiest Cities Analysis Criteria
- Health Care: Highly weighted towards premature death rate, plus a wide variety of healthcare-related stats like mental health, family doctors and dentists per capita, the cost of medical visits and medicine, and insurance coverage
- Food: Weighted towards fruit and vegetable consumption, plus stats like access to healthy restaurants and grocers, dieticians per capita, share of obese residents, and Google search activity for health-related keywords
- Fitness: The big one here is the proportion of adults who engage in physical activity, plus access to fitness centers, weight loss centers, and trainers and instructors per capita
- Green Space: Evenly weighted across per capita metrics such as parkland acres, hiking trails, WalkScore/BikeScore, and access to recreation
- Each criteria was worth up to 25 points, for a total of 100 points possible
On each count, San Francisco was ahead of the curve. We ranked #10 out of 182 for Health Care, #1 for food, #59 for Fitness, and #1 again for Green Space. No other city ranked #1 for multiple criteria, and our other two rankings were pretty good as well. That catapulted us to the top spot with a total of 69.11 points out of 100. Second place went to Seattle, WA, with 65.70 points, and Portland, OR, was just behind them at 65.69 points.
San Francisco Health Score Totals
- #10 in Health Care
- #1 in Food
- #59 in Fitness
- #1 in Green Space
Clearly, the outlier in San Francisco (and something we may need to work on to hold our top ranking) is Fitness. The city that won that category was Scottsdale, AZ, which I hear is pretty nice. Maybe they have a lot of gyms, or maybe everyone there is a personal trainer. You could say we San Franciscans have better things to do, but this is no time for sour grapes. We still held a solid lead over Scottsdale in every other category!
The things that put San Francisco in another league are our great restaurants and grocers, multiple farmers’ markets for fresh produce, substantial healthcare presence, and all the amazing parks throughout the city. Along with the tech industry, these things are a big reason why people have moved to San Francisco in droves in past decades. They are also why we predict San Francisco will remain a popular place to live (for those who can afford it), as the worst of the COVID pandemic begins to fade, and we hopefully get back to normal in the next months and years.
Update: San Francisco was also ranked #11 in the Most Climate-Resilient Cities in America!
If you are looking to move within San Francisco or buy a home here for the first time, are restaurants, gyms, farmers’ markets and hospitals factored into your decision making? With so many wonderful neighborhoods to choose from, these things can help narrow down the locations you target on your house hunt. When the time comes to buy or sell a home in San Francisco, we’re happy to help. Reach out any time to let us know more about your situation!