With health care costs rising and U.S. life expectancy declining for the third year in a row, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report this week on 2019’s Healthiest & Unhealthiest Cities in America and a Kansas city did well.
“Overland Park, Kansas, actually did pretty well here, as it tends to do on a lot of these studies,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “That’s really considering health care, food, fitness and green space.”
Overland Park was especially strong in the health care area. It finished first in that portion of the survey.
“Health care looks at everything from life expectancy, which is very high in Overland Park, to mental health and mental health counselors per capita, physical health, obviously, that’s essentially the percentage of adults reporting physically healthy days in the past month. We also look at costs of medical visits, as well as any doctor shortages that might be there.”
Health is about more than just access to a doctor.
“We wanted to not only look at health care, but also how much fruit and veggies people are consuming, if there are any food deserts around, are people exercising, and finally green space, in terms of park land per capita, walking, running, hiking trails, city greenness and air quality and water quality. That’s the one area where Overland Park could do a little bit better with a little bit more green space.”
Overland Park, Kansas, has the lowest share of physically unhealthy adults, 7.10 percent, which is 2.7 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 19.10 percent.
Graphic courtesy WalletHub