Worcester Ranks Poorly as a “Healthy City”

Monday, February 11, 2019
GoLocalWorcester News Team

A new study finds that Worcester ranks poorly as a healthy city.

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Worcester is ranked as the 90th healthiest city in the country.

“Some places promote wellness by expanding access to nutritious food and recreational facilities. Others strive to keep healthcare costs affordable for everyone or keep parks clean and well-maintained. When a city doesn’t take care of these issues, it can be hard to keep up good health,” said WalletHub.

Worcester’s Rankings:

  • 84th Best - Healthcare
  • 102nd Best - Food
  • 80th Best - Fitness
  • 84th Best - Green Space
  • T-1st - Most Mental-Health Counselors per Capita

 

The Rankings

Worcester ranks behind Tucson, Arizona and Nashville, Tennessee, who rank 88th and 89th respectively.

Worcester ranks ahead of Buffalo, New York and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who rank 91st and 92nd overall.

San Francisco, California is ranked as the healthiest city in the U.S.

Brownsville, Texas is ranked as the most unhealthiest.

See the full rankings in the map below

Source: WalletHub

 

The Method

In order to identify the overall healthiest cities in the U.S., WalletHub compared 174 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across four dimensions: 1) Healthcare, 2) Food, 3) Fitness and 4) Green Space.

Due to data limitations, the following cities were not included in the analysis: Dover, Delaware, Lewiston, Maine, Bismarck, North Dakota, South Burlington, Vermont, Juneau, Alaska, Pearl City, Hawaii, Columbia, Maryland and Casper, Wyoming.

They evaluated the four dimensions using 42 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for a healthy lifestyle.

WalletHub then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to complete the rankings. 

 

Health Care – Total Points: 25

  • Premature-Death Rate: Triple Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Mental Health: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Mental-Health Counselors per Capita: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Physical Health: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Family Doctors per Capita: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Dentists per Capita: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Cost of Medical Visit: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Cost of Dental Visit: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Quality of Public Hospital System: Full* Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Hospital Beds per Capita: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Adult Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Youth Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Share of Adults Who Visited a Doctor or a Dentist in the Past Year: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Share of Adults Who Checked their Cholesterol in the Past 5 Years: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Mammography Screenings Among Women Aged 50–74 Years: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)
  • Share of Women & Men Aged 65 Years and Older Who Received Core Preventive Services: Full Weight (~1.39 Points)

 

Food – Total Points: 25

  • Inadequate Fruit & Vegetable Consumption: Double Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Farmer's Markets per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Gourmet Specialty-Food Stores per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Healthy Restaurants per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Dietitians & Nutritionists per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Share of Residents Who Say They Eat Healthy: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Google Search Interest for “Healthy Eating”: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Share of Obese Residents: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Limited Access to Healthy Foods: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)

 

Fitness – Total Points: 25

  • Share of Adults Who Engage in Any Physical Activity: Double Weight (~6.25 Points)
  • Well-Being “Physical” Rank: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Fitness & Instruction Centers per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Average Cost of Fitness-Club Membership: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Intramural Leagues per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Weight-Loss Centers per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Fitness Trainers & Aerobics Instructors per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)

 

Green Space – Total Points: 25

  • Parkland Acres per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Quality of Parks: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Hiking Trails per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Running Trails per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Walking Trails per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Walk Score: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Bike Score: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Physical-Activity Access: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • City “Greenness”: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Recreation Access: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)

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