Health and wellness is something important to many, dare I say, most people. Generally, though, I personally don't think of a city or town as healthy or unhealthy. I tend to think about the crime rate, employment options, and recreation - not health and wellness.

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But the folks at WalletHub apparently think about these things. They've just released their 2022 study ranking the healthiest, and unhealthiest cities in the U.S.

Now, remember, these "studies" use nothing but stats in various categories to come up with their results. I'll share those categories in a moment. Then I'll show you where the only two Iowa cities on the list landed, including Cedar Rapids. Des Moines is the other.

Fitness was one of the metrics used in the study. Photo by Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash
Fitness was one of the metrics used in the study. Photo by Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash

How the study was done

The metrics used for the study are:

  • Health Care
  • Food
  • Fitness
  • Green Space

Next, the study ranked 182 cities. The closer to "1" each city ranked in each of those categories, the higher they finished on the list.

So how'd our two Iowa cities do? Well...

  • Cedar Rapids: 80th
  • Des Moines: 116th

Hm. Des Moines was much closer to the bottom of the list, Cedar Rapids was more in the middle, but leaning towards healthier than unhealthy.

How did the cities finish with the four metrics? This is where I take issue -

Cedar Rapids

  • Health Care: 4
  • Food: 124
  • Fitness:121
  • Green Space: 58

How in the heck did Cedar Rapids get "58" for green space? This is Iowa. You can't go more than 5 blocks without finding green space in the form of a farm field, park, etc.

Des Moines finished even worse...

Des Moines

  • Health Care: 12
  • Food: 139
  • Fitness:130
  • Green Space: 131

Again, the green space metric is especially odd.

So what cities finished in the TOP 10 and BOTTOM 10?


  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. Portland, OR
  5. Salt Lake City, UT
  6. Honolulu, HI
  7. Austin, TX
  8. Denver, CO
  9. South Burlington, VT
  10. Washington, DC (WalletHub is HQ'd in DC)


173. Montgomery
174. Columbus, GA
175. Augusta, GA
176. Shreveport, LA
177. Charleston, WV
178. Jackson, MS
179. Memphis, TN
180. Laredo, TX
181. Gulfport, MS
182. Brownsville, TX

See the full study here.

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