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Here Are the Best and Worst U.S. Cities for Longevity

Sonya Maynard, Jennifer Messimer
·4 min read

From Men's Health

There’s more to life than, well, living it. While “longevity” usually means the same thing as “life span,” neither of those terms truly captures living life to its fullest.

So as part of our Metrogrades series, we established a set of criteria to measure just that.

To tackle this complex analysis, our experienced team of talented researchers defined a few key metrics. We included life expectancy (obviously), but also well-being scores, a population's access to healthy foods, and the percentage of residents with Alzheimer’s/dementia or depression.

Then, to determine our rankings, we weighted the data from city- and state-level Gallup polling, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and county health assessments from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

That means that our analysis of the U. S. cities with the best—and worst—longevity accounts for physical and mental health (doctors have called this “health span”), as well as financial health. It's a well-rounded picture of what it means to possess the power of longevity, we think.

In short: Here are the cities where people live the longest and have a really, really good time doing it.

Find out where your city ranks—and learn why some of the top performers have earned their spot.

And, if you have the pleasure of living in one of those top cities for longevity, take your time in perusing the entire list. You do, after all, have the time.

But, first, a few highlights from the top 10.

San Jose, CA (Highest Longevity)

Maybe it’s all the biohacking going on in Silicon Valley? San Jose snagged the top spot for life expectancy (84.6 years on average, compared with Detroit’s 75.3), access to healthy food, and well-being, which included variables like purpose, community, and a network of friends. Like, real friends. A 2019 review found that when older adults spend time with buddies, it contributes to health.

Sioux Falls, SD #3

Yup, Sioux Falls. The city rated high in our healthy-food score, which considered access to quality food as well as the ability to afford it. (Living in a “food desert” is associated with a higher risk of obesity and premature death.) Credit Sioux Falls’ seven area farmers markets, one of which has been running for more than 100 years. An eighth, Dakota Fresh, is online only.

Burlington, VT #6

This ski-slash-college town had the second-lowest prevalence of Alzheimer’s and dementia. One possible factor: the University of Vermont Medical Center’s Memory Program, a clinic that evaluates, diagnoses, and treats age-related memory disorders. Burlingtonians also ranked high for their well-being and access to healthy food, both of which may help prevent age-related cognitive decline.

America's Longevity Hubs

1. San Jose, CA
2. Oakland, CA
. Sioux Falls, SD
4. San Diego, CA
5. Honolulu, HI
6. Burlington, VT
7. San Francisco, CA
8. Bridgeport, CT
9. Madison, WI

10. Anaheim, CA
11. Raleigh, NC
12. Phoenix, AZ
13. Seattle, WA
14. Fargo, ND
15. El Paso, TX
16. Minneapolis, MN
17. St. Paul, MN
18. Los Angeles, CA
19. Denver, CO

20. Miami, FL

Photo credit: Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson
Photo credit: Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson

21. Portland, ME
22. Riverside, CA
23. Aurora, CO
24. Portland, OR
25. Plano, TX
26. Jersey City, NJ
27. Lincoln, NE
28. Boise City, ID
29. Anchorage, AK
30. Austin, TX

31. Charlotte, NC

32. Boston, MA

33. Durham, NC
34. Sacramento, CA
35. Virginia Beach, VA
36. Houston, TX
37. Tucson, AZ
38. Manchester, NH
39. Cheyenne, WY

40. New York, NY

Photo credit: Kirill Rudenko
Photo credit: Kirill Rudenko

41. Des Moines, IA
42. Washington, DC
43. Laredo, TX
44. Colorado Springs, CO
45. San Antonio, TX
46. Salt Lake City, UT
47. Chicago, IL
48. Billings, MT
49. Atlanta, GA
50. Newark, NJ

51. Stockton, CA

52. Chesapeake, VA
53. Las Vegas, NV
54. Omaha, NE
55. Orlando, FL
56. Fresno, CA
57. Reno, NV
58. Dallas, TX
59. Fort Worth, TX

60. Providence, RI

Photo credit: Shobeir Ansari
Photo credit: Shobeir Ansari

61. Wilmington, DE
62. Kansas City, MO
63. Albuquerque, NM
64. Nashville, TN
65. Bakersfield, CA
66. St. Petersburg, FL
67. Pittsburgh, PA
68. Greensboro, NC
69. Tampa, FL
70. Columbia, SC

71. Buffalo, NY

72. Charleston, WV

73. Baltimore, MD
74. Jacksonville, FL
75. Corpus Christi, TX
76. Cincinnati, OH
77. Wichita, KS
78. Lexington, KY
79. Columbus, OH

80. New Orleans, LA

Photo credit: Atlantide Phototravel
Photo credit: Atlantide Phototravel

81. Winston-Salem, NC
82. Louisville, KY
83. St Louis, MO
84. Milwaukee, WI
85. Cleveland, OH
86. Norfolk, VA
87. Fort Wayne, IN
88. Toledo, OH
89. Lubbock, TX
90. Jackson, MS
91. Richmond, VA
92. Baton Rogue, LA
93. Memphis, TN
94. Philadelphia, PA
95. Little Rock, AR
96. Oklahoma City, OK
97. Tulsa, OK
98. Birmingham, AL
99. Indianapolis, IN

100. Detroit, MI

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