As we prepare to welcome Austin Marathon participants on February 16, the city itself has already run away with an important accolade.
A study released February 10 by personal finance website WalletHub puts Austin in 11th place among the country’s healthiest cities and first place in Texas. Austin held the same positions (No. 11 and No. 1 in Texas) in WalletHub’s 2019 study of the healthiest cities in the U.S.
To determine which regions prioritize residents’ well-being, WalletHub compared 174 of the most populated U.S. cities across 43 key indicators of good health. The data ranges from cost of medical visits to fruit and vegetable consumption to fitness clubs per capita.
Austin scores highest in the green space (No. 13), fitness (No. 15), and food (No. 16) categories of the study. More specifically, Austin appears at No. 3 for most healthy restaurants per capita and No. 5 for most running trails per capita.
However, the Capital City lands at No. 40 in the health care category.
Despite this, the the City of Austin says, “Austin is a relatively healthy city."
"Austin/Travis County has trended better than Texas and the nation on key health outcomes including obesity, smoking, physical activity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes,” the city continues. “While this is reassuring, we continue to see disparities along racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines within these same health outcomes.”
Austin ranks even higher in a recent study of the country’s healthiest cities by Mindbody, a provider of wellness technology. Among the 50 biggest cities, Austin claims the No. 5 spot, behind Miami, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Denver.
Ranking above Austin in the WalletHub study are: San Francisco (No. 1); Seattle (No. 2); San Diego (No. 3); Portland, Oregon (No. 4); Washington, D.C. (No. 5); New York City (No. 6); Denver (No. 7); Irvine, California (No. 8); Scottsdale, Arizona (No. 9); and Chicago (No. 10).
As for the rest of the state, however, Texas cities didn't perform well overall:
- Plano, No. 40. Among all of the cities, Plano ranks fifth for low cost of medical visits.
- Houston, No. 82. Among all of the cities, Houston ranks 173rd for mental health counselors per capita.
- Dallas, No. 92.
- San Antonio, No. 103.
- Fort Worth, No. 117.
- Arlington, No. 135.
- Irving, No. 136.
- Grand Prairie, No. 137.
- Garland, No. 141.
The Rio Grande Valley city of Brownsville ranked last, at No. 174.