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Atlanta ranks in top 20 of country’s healthiest cities

Location, location, location — it’s not just the key to real estate.

Where you live can have an impact on your health, too. 

Personal finance website WalletHub analyzed data on 174 U.S. cities to determine which is the healthiest.

For its report, WalletHub compared 42 key metrics in four categories: health care, food, fitness and green space.

Each category was worth 25 points, for a maximum 100 points overall.

After the numbers were tallied, Atlanta finished at No. 19, with an overall score of 57.71.

The city ranked No. 6 in fitness, which looks at the number of fitness centers, weight loss centers, intramural leagues and other criteria.

But in the health care category, which includes not only access to physical and mental health care, but also the cost, Atlanta was No. 75. 

In the other two categories — food and green space — the city ranked No. 26 and No. 28, respectively.

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Source: WalletHub

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One important factor to consider when deciding where to live is the crime rate.

“Crime rates are a factor as the stress associated with crime can have a direct impact on heart health,” Y. Tony Yang, a professor at George Washington University’s Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, said in a statement on WalletHub’s site. “Additionally, easy access to good healthcare can increase your quality of life exponentially, so be on the lookout for towns and cities with good hospitals. Healthcare facilities are important at any stage in life, but they are especially relevant if you have children or if you are nearing retirement age.”

Easy access to affordable, healthy food is an important factor to good health, Kristin Hocevar, an assistant professor at Southern Oregon University, said in a WalletHub statement.

“(B)ecause affordable access to healthy food providers can also encourage us to cook at home as opposed to eat out, making that access as easy as possible can benefit all of us,” she said.

Atlanta isn’t the only Georgia city in the report.

Columbus came in at No. 162, with an overall score of 33.82; and Augusta ranked No. 168, with an overall score of 30.70.

The healthiest city in the U.S., according to WalletHub’s analysis, is San Francisco, which scored 73.29. The California city was No. 1 in both food and green space.

The best city for health care is Overland Park, Kansas; and No. 1 for fitness is Scottsdale, Arizona.

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