Want to live a healthier lifestyle? Moving to Colorado may be a start.
Douglas County, Colorado, just south of Denver, topped a ranking of the healthiest communities in the United States in 2019, according to research by U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation.
Seven Colorado communities ranked in the top 20 this year, and the report found that regular exercise and wellness checkups, coupled with a healthy environment, led to the Centennial State’s dominance.
Across the United States, the top ten healthiest communities this year were:
1.Douglas County, Colorado
2.Los Alamos County, New Mexico
3.Falls Church city, Virginia
4.Loudoun County, Virginia
5.Broomfield County, Colorado
6.Teton County, Wyoming
7.Hamilton County, Indiana
8.Carver County, Minnesota
9.Delaware County, Ohio
10.Howard County, Maryland
U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation looked at nearly 3,000 communities – counties and county equivalents – and analyzed data in 81 metrics across 10 categories.
The metrics included measures like smoking rates, diabetes, air and water quality and educational attainment, among of a variety of others.
The 10 categories were community vitality, equity, economy, education, environment, food and nutrition, population health, housing, infrastructure and public safety. Population health, equity and education held the most weight for the ranking system.
“Communities that score among the top 25 percent of all communities typically perform strongest in measures of housing quality, low environmental hazards and health outcomes,” U.S. News said in a statement.
Colorado counties had the highest average score for the environment category. It also ranked second in community vitality and third in food and nutrition.