See Where Providence Ranks Among Healthiest Cities in the US

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

How healthy is the City of Providence? 

Providence is ranked 78th on the list of healthiest cities in the US, according to a study done by WalletHub. 

“Location matters when it comes to health. Some places promote wellness by expanding access to nutritious food and recreational facilities. Others strive to keep treatment costs affordable for everyone or protect green space that encourages an active and healthy lifestyle,” said WalletHub. 

Providence ranks 134th for health care, 74th for food, 78th for fitness and 32nd for green space. 

The study also notes that medical visit’s in Providence rank as the 5th most expensive in the country. 

The Rankings 

Providence is ranked 78th behind Des Moines, Iowa and Mesa, Arizona who rank 76th and 77th respectively. Providence is ranked ahead of Chicago, Illinois and Tucson, Arizona who rank 79th and 80th respectively. 

San Francisco, California is ranked as the healthiest city in the country, while Detroit, Michigan is ranked as the unhealthiest. 

See the full rankings in the map below 

Source: WalletHub

The Method 

WalletHub’s analysts compared 150 of the most populated cities across four key dimensions: 1) Health Care, 2) Food, 3) Fitness and 4) Green Space. 

They then evaluated the four dimensions using 34 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for a healthy lifestyle. 

WalletHub then calculated overall scores for each city using its weighted average across all metrics and ranked the cities based on the resulting scores.

Health Care – Total Points: 25

  • Premature-Death Rate: Triple Weight (~5.36 Points)
  • Mental Health: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Mental-Health Counselors per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Physical Health: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Family Doctors per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Dentists per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Cost of Medical Visit: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Cost of Dental Visit: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Quality of Public Hospital System: Full* Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Hospital Beds per Capita: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Adult Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Youth Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~1.79 Points)


Food – Total Points: 25

  • Fruit & Vegetable Consumption: Double Weight (~6.26 Points)
  • Farmer's Markets per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Gourmet Specialty-Food Stores per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Healthy Restaurants per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Dietitians & Nutritionists per Capita: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Share of Obese Residents: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Limited Access to Healthy Foods: Full Weight (~3.13 Points)


Fitness – Total Points: 25

  • Share of Residents Who Engage in Any Physical Activity: Double Weight (~8.33 Points)
  • Fitness Clubs per Capita: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Average Cost of Fitness-Club Membership: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Recreational Leagues per Capita: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Weight-Loss Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)


Green Space – Total Points: 25

  • Parkland Acres per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Quality of Parks: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Hiking Trails per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Running Trails per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Walking Trails per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Walk Score: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Bike Score: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Physical-Activity Access: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • City “Greenness”: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Recreation Access: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Inside Man

    Russell Carey - A name few outside of Brown’s campus know, but Carey is the power source at the Providence Ivy League institution. 

    Today, his title is Executive Vice President and he has had almost every title at Brown short of President. Carey is a 1991 graduate of Brown and has never left College Hill.

    While Brown’s President Christine Paxson — who is functionally invisible in Rhode Island — is managing alumni affairs and fundraising, Carey is influencing almost everything in Rhode Island.

  • Top Raimondo Appointment

    Nicole Alexander-Scott - MD, MPH, and rock star in the making. As Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, she is fast developing a reputation as someone in the Raimondo Administration who can get things done. Her counsel and leadership on developing a strategy on opioid addiction has been widely been lauded.

    In addition, she has handled the mundane - from beach closings to food recalls - with competency. An expert in infectious disease, it may be time for her to become a strong leader on Zika.

  • The CEO

    Ronald Machtley - Bryant University's President rightfully deserves to be on a lot of lists, but what few understand is that Machtley’s influence extends far beyond Bryant’s campus in Smithfield. Machtley could make this list as a business leader or as a political force as much as for education.

    Machtley is recognized for transforming Bryant University from a financially struggling regional college to a university with a national reputation for business.

    Machtley serves on Amica’s Board and the Rhode Island Foundation, and also serves on the Board of Fantex Brands.

  • Power Broker

    Larry Purtill - While Bob Walsh gets the face time as the Executive Director in the media for the NEA of Rhode Island, NEARI President Purtill tends to be the inside man who gets things done.

    The teachers' largest union is formidable, but is still reeling from the beat down it took when Gina Raimondo’s pension reform cut the benefits of teachers disproportionately over other employee groups. 

    Make no mistake about it - not much happens in education in Rhode Island without Purtill's sign-off.

  • Visionary

    Mim Runey - While Rhode Islanders wait, and wait some more, for development on the 195 land, Johnson and Wale's University's Runey is watching it come to fruition, as JWU is set to open the first completed building on the former Interstate on September 1, when it will host a ribbon cutting for its John J. Bowen Center for Science and Innovation. 

    Under Runey, JWU continues to establish its foothold as one of the country's top schools for culinary training. Now Runey will oversee the addition of the new building on the old 195 which will house the university's School of Engineering and Design and its biology program. 

    In 2015, students from the School of Engineering & Design participated in the construction of the Holocaust Memorial on South Main Street, a collaboration between the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Holocaust Education Resource Center of Rhode Island.

    A true community partner in every sense, JWU under Runey's watchful eye is expanding to an even greater presence in Providence. 

  • Chairman of the Board

    Edwin J. Santos - The former banker is Chairman of the Board of CharterCare, after having been a top executive at Citizens Bank. He has been a board leader for Crossroads, Washington Trust, Rocky Hill School -- you name it and Santos has helped to lead it.

    His best work to date just might be at CharterCare, where he has helped the once fledgling hospital (Roger Williams Medical Center) into a growing hospital system.

  • Lion Tamer

    Weber Shill - He serves as the Chief Executive Officer of University Orthopedics, or in other words, dozens and dozens of oh-so-confident docs.

    Shill has a background in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from the Whitemore School at the University of New Hampshire. Experienced in managing medical groups, but this group is big and influential.

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