The U.S. News and World Report, in its annual assessment of the “healthiest communities in the U.S.,” has given a staggering third place finish to the City of Falls Church in its latest edition.
That’s ahead of all other entities in the entire nation, except for Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Douglas County, Colorado. The magazine listed the top 500 entities in the U.S., and others in this area to finish near the top were Loudoun County at No. 4, Fairfax County at No. 14 and Arlington County at No. 39, the City of Alexandria at No. 124 and Fauquier County at No. 195.
The ranking are based on an exhaustive list of data points subsuming categories like percentage of the population with health insurance, percentage who are smokers, who have higher life expectancy rates (F.C.’s average is 81.6 years compared to the national average of 77.5 years), availabilities of primary care physicians, leisure time activities, preventive care visits, cancer and heart disease prevalences, teen birth rates, mental distress, “deaths of despair.”
They also rank wider social categories like equity, school graduation rates, average household income (F.C. is $127,610 compared to the U.S. average of $51,000), households facing medical debt collections (1 percent here, compared to 19 percent nationally), business growth rate, percentage of households spending 30 percent or more on housing costs, local food outlets per 100,000 people, diabetes and obesity sufferers, water quality, distance per resident to a park (87.4 for F.C. compared to 12.4 for the U.S.), tree canopy, violent crime, living near an emergency facility, walkability and voter participation rate (91.42 percent in F.C. compared to 66 nationally), and considerably more.
The City’s overall score is 95, compared to the Virginia state average of 53, a “peer average” of 59 and a U.S. average of 48.