Working with health and research experts, U.S. News evaluated nearly 3,000 communities according to 81 different parameters within the following 10 categories: population health, equity, education, economy, housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality and infrastructure.
The rankings utilized data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others, to assess metrics like air and water quality, crime rates and access to healthcare.
Douglas County scored first in at least four of the 81 parameters, and was joined in the top 20 by six other Colorado communities. But among all U.S. states, Iowa was most represented in the top 500, HealthDay News noted, with 62 counties in the rankings. The highest-ranking community in Iowa was Bremer County at 26th.
“We like to say that where you live determines how well and also how long you live,” Tim Smart, executive editor at U.S. News, told WTOP. “There's definitely a correlation between living in a healthier community and your overall quality of life and your life expectancy.”
Smart noted that in Douglas County, the life expectancy is five years higher than the national average.
The top 10 healthiest communities in 2019 are:
1. Douglas County, CO
2. Los Alamos County, NM
3. Falls Church City, VA (#1 in 2018)
4. Loudoun County, VA
5. Broomfield County, CO
6. Teton County, WY
7. Hamilton County, IN
8. Carver County, MN
9. Delaware County, OH
10. Howard County, MD
View the full rankings at U.S. News.