U.S. News and World Report ranks the healthiest counties in Georgia. Here are the Top 5. No. 5: Cherokee County No. 4: Columbia County No. 3: Fayette County No. 2: Forsyth County No. 1: Oconee County

3 Georgia cities make 2020 list of healthiest and unhealthiest cities

Three Georgia cities landed on WalletHub’s annual ranking of the healthiest and unhealthiest cities in the United States, but only one of them for being among the healthiest.

For its ranking, WalletHub compared 174 cities — the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across four key dimensions: health care, food, fitness and green space.

» 2019 report: Gwinnett is one of Georgia’s healthiest counties

Within those four dimensions were 43 relevant metrics, each graded on a 100 point scale. 

After the scores were added up, San Francisco came out on top, with 73.99 points. The California city ranked first in food and green space.

Following San Fran were Seattle; San Diego; Portland, Oregon; and the District of Columbia, in that order.

Atlanta was Georgia’s highest ranking city, finishing at No. 22 with a score of 56.74. We were No. 89 in health care, 22 in food, 6 in fitness and 35 in green space. Last year, however, the city was No. 19.

» Atlanta ranks in top 20 of country’s healthiest cities

Georgia’s other two cities on the list were Columbus at No. 148 and Augusta at No. 167.

Columbus was among the cities with the highest rate of premature deaths, tied with Mobile, Alabama; Charleston, West Virginia; St. Louis, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; and Huntington, West Virginia.

Augusta was in the bottom five for the percentage of adults who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables each day.

Martine Hackett, associate professor of health professions at Hofstra University, said an important factor for choosing a healthy city is how walkable it is. 

» Take our poll: What is the most walkable neighborhood in metro Atlanta?

Albert Wu, a professora at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, lists numerous factors to consider when choosing a city that will be good for your health. Among the social factors are strong regulations and good ratings for clean air and water; green space; mass transit; fresh food and produce; and income equity.

You can read WalletHub’s full report here.

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