The 10 Worst American Cities for Health and Wellbeing

Every city has its pros and cons. But for some, the cons are awful outcomes for health and wellness. 

Study on Best and Worst Cities for Health and Wellbeing

Online health resource The Great Green Wall Health ranked 562 cities on 34 health and wellness factors relating to health, happiness, and prosperity. The ranking factors include obesity rates, blood pressure, health insurance, sleep quality, dental health, and rates of depression, among other things. 

Data sources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Census Bureau, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the US Department of Health, dating from 2016 to 2023.

These US cities ranked last on the list. 

Youngstown, OH

Picture of buildings in Youngstown Ohio
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Youngstown, OH, is the worst city in the country for health and wellness. The town ranked in the bottom 10 for several wellness metrics, including poor mental health, high obesity rates, and insufficient sleep. 

Flint, MI

aerial view of Flint Michigan
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The town notorious for poor water quality also has the worst sleepers. Flint came in second to last on the wellness state. 

Corcoran, CA

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Corcoran, CA, will never make anyone’s California bucket list. The small town halfway between Bakersfield and Fresno is the third worst city in the country for health and wellness. 

Saginaw, MI

aerial view of Saginaw Michigan
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The mid-Michigan city has the highest obesity rates in the country, helping it land in the bottom ten. 

Johnstown, PA

aerial view of Johnstown Pennsylvania with small hills in the background.
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Johnstown lies about an hour outside of Pittsburg. Its biggest claim to fame was a horrible dam accident in the late 1800s.

Warren, OH

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Don’t visit Warren if you don’t smoke. This city has more smokers relative to the population than any other city in the country. 

Avon Park, FL

aerial view of a culdesac in central Florida
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People retire to Florida for sunshine and relaxation, but the central Florida town of Avon Park may not be the best option. 

Port Arthur, TX

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Port Arthur residents don’t take great care of their teeth. The city rated lowest in dental visits over the past year. 

Morristown, TN

Single tree on Cherokee Lake in Tennessee
Parts of Cherokee lake rest near Morristown TN. Photo Credit: Bob Lawrence via

A small city in Northeastern Tennessee isn’t the best place to be for health and wellness. Even the proximity to the beautiful Cherokee Lake and Cherokee Park didn’t save the small town from the top ten list. 

Reading, PA

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Reading PA rounds out the list of the cities with the worst health and wellness ratings. However, it’s one of the best palces to visit in Pennsylvania for the annual art conventions hosted at Goggleworks

Improve Your Health and Wellness

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If you live in one of these cities, don’t despair. Averages don’t tell the whole story.

Take health and wellness into your own hands. Schedule a doctor’s visit, quit smoking, go for a run, and get outside to enjoy the bounties of nature. Don’t let your city’s ranking trick you into thinking a healthy life is out of reach.

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