Healthiest Cities in Massachusetts

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Healthiest Cities in Massachusetts

Correction: An earlier version of this story had erroneous data. This is the corrected version of the rankings.

Massachusetts cares about its health. The state has the highest percentage of residents with health insurance coverage in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and it boasts one of the lowest rates of adult obesity. It’s also home to some of the country’s top medical research facilities, including Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

To stay healthy, residents can engage in a range of outdoor activities from hiking in the Berkshires to running along the Charles River Esplanade. And of course, if you’re fast enough, there’s the Boston Marathon.

So which parts of Massachusetts are the healthiest? NerdWallet examined 216 places and ranked the healthiest cities according to health care data, hospital survey scores, how people get to work (walking or biking is a healthier option than driving), the number of parks and the number of McDonald’s restaurants.

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Healthiest places in Massachusetts data

Rank City Non-car commuters Health insurance coverage County hospital rankings Parks per 10,000 residents McDonald’s per 10,000 residents Overall score
1 Cambridge 57.8% 96.6% 69.50 8.51 0.09 68.92
2 Great Barrington 7.0% 94.7% 77.00 19.85 0.00 62.99
3 Brookline 45.6% 98.9% 63.60 7.15 0.17 58.88
4 Boston 50.3% 94.7% 72.50 3.40 0.37 56.51
5 Somerville 46.2% 94.9% 69.50 4.81 0.13 54.91
6 Concord 12.5% 99.1% 69.50 12.47 0.00 54.84
7 Williamstown 23.8% 99.2% 77.00 3.90 0.00 53.73
8 Adams 7.1% 95.0% 77.00 14.26 1.19 52.64
9 North Adams 11.8% 96.0% 77.00 9.52 0.00 51.64
10 Melrose 22.8% 97.8% 69.50 7.71 0.00 51.26
11 Lenox 4.1% 91.2% 77.00 15.96 0.00 50.86
12 Hopkinton 7.6% 97.7% 69.50 12.44 0.00 50.34
13 Manchester-by-the-Sea 17.4% 98.6% 65.20 9.64 0.00 49.11
14 Arlington 21.7% 98.6% 69.50 5.54 0.00 48.49
15 Lee 4.6% 97.4% 77.00 15.17 5.06 48.32
16 Amherst 30.1% 97.2% 73.50 1.29 0.00 47.66
17 Rockport 12.0% 96.0% 65.20 12.78 0.00 47.52
18 Winchester 13.0% 99.1% 69.50 7.40 0.00 47.43
19 Winthrop 19.4% 96.2% 72.50 6.19 0.00 47.36
20 Northampton 19.2% 97.1% 73.50 4.90 0.35 46.60
21 Wellesley 24.7% 98.5% 63.60 5.96 0.00 45.98
22 Littleton 4.3% 98.4% 69.50 9.96 0.00 45.81
23 Medford 23.6% 96.2% 69.50 5.12 0.00 45.61
24 Natick 10.7% 98.2% 69.50 8.92 0.89 45.55
25 Hingham 16.3% 97.9% 62.67 9.40 0.00 45.26
26 Gloucester 10.9% 96.7% 65.20 11.36 0.34 45.07
27 Pittsfield 6.9% 97.6% 77.00 5.40 0.00 45.02
28 Cohasset 16.9% 97.5% 63.60 8.82 0.00 44.88
29 Watertown 19.5% 96.2% 69.50 5.56 0.00 44.13
30 Wayland 6.5% 98.9% 69.50 7.60 0.00 44.07
31 Needham 13.1% 99.0% 63.60 8.55 0.34 43.84
32 Leicester 3.5% 97.7% 68.67 9.93 0.00 43.77
33 Topsfield 2.7% 98.5% 65.20 11.27 0.00 43.76
34 Lincoln 9.8% 97.2% 69.50 7.73 0.00 43.69
35 Hamilton 10.4% 99.6% 65.20 7.50 0.00 43.58
36 Newton 18.3% 98.4% 69.50 3.94 0.23 43.57
37 Spencer 4.2% 96.0% 68.67 11.93 0.85 43.17
38 Malden 34.0% 92.5% 69.50 3.18 0.00 43.09
39 Revere 27.8% 92.0% 72.50 3.81 0.00 42.46
40 Weston 10.1% 98.7% 69.50 5.20 0.00 42.06
41 Warren 1.5% 97.4% 68.67 9.74 0.00 42.02
42 Lexington 8.8% 98.7% 69.50 5.96 0.31 41.90
43 Groton 3.6% 99.6% 69.50 6.46 0.00 41.78
44 Salem 18.9% 95.4% 65.20 7.39 0.48 41.22
45 Swampscott 14.1% 98.2% 65.20 5.77 0.00 40.99
46 Mendon 4.7% 98.5% 68.67 6.84 0.00 40.80
47 Bedford 3.9% 98.7% 69.50 7.38 0.74 40.65
48 Chelsea 32.7% 89.2% 72.50 4.69 1.10 40.39
49 Harvard 4.3% 99.0% 68.67 6.12 0.00 40.17
50 Orange 5.2% 95.2% 69.00 8.95 0.00 40.05
51 Newburyport 12.7% 96.7% 65.20 7.40 0.57 39.57
52 Nantucket 16.7% 92.7% 82.00 0.00 39.23
53 Belmont 17.5% 97.9% 69.50 2.00 0.40 39.21
54 South Hadley 10.9% 96.6% 73.50 2.82 0.00 39.14
55 Ipswich 9.2% 97.6% 65.20 6.74 0.00 39.09
56 Dedham 12.2% 97.6% 63.60 6.42 0.00 38.94
57 Dover 8.2% 98.4% 63.60 7.05 0.00 38.87
58 Quincy 27.0% 95.7% 63.60 3.24 0.22 38.85
59 Falmouth 5.0% 96.6% 74.00 4.75 0.32 38.74
60 Grafton 3.6% 97.2% 68.67 6.71 0.00 38.27
61 Barre 1.4% 99.3% 68.67 5.54 0.00 38.20
62 Easthampton 5.5% 95.5% 73.50 5.61 0.62 37.83
63 Orleans 9.0% 97.3% 74.00 1.70 0.00 37.80
64 Stoneham 8.0% 97.4% 69.50 4.19 0.00 37.67
65 Waltham 15.4% 94.7% 69.50 4.24 0.16 37.64
66 Lynnfield 4.4% 99.0% 65.20 5.93 0.00 37.25
67 Westminster 1.9% 98.3% 68.67 5.46 0.00 36.99
68 Amesbury 6.0% 96.8% 65.20 7.91 0.61 36.91
69 Holliston 3.7% 99.1% 69.50 3.62 0.00 36.87
70 Wakefield 9.9% 97.8% 69.50 3.15 0.39 36.86
71 Beverly 13.5% 96.4% 65.20 5.50 0.50 36.85
72 Boxford 3.7% 98.6% 65.20 6.22 0.00 36.79
73 Lowell 8.4% 93.2% 69.50 7.35 0.19 36.62
74 Mashpee 2.6% 94.9% 74.00 5.00 0.00 36.20
75 Southborough 4.5% 99.2% 68.67 3.06 0.00 35.93
76 Harwich 1.5% 96.0% 74.00 4.09 0.00 35.74
77 Woburn 6.5% 96.2% 69.50 4.41 0.00 35.61
78 Sudbury 5.0% 99.2% 69.50 2.23 0.00 35.59
79 Hull 11.3% 95.6% 62.67 6.78 0.00 35.58
80 Chatham 3.6% 96.0% 74.00 3.26 0.00 35.57
81 Weymouth 11.1% 96.7% 63.60 5.70 0.37 35.33
82 Boxborough 4.0% 99.6% 69.50 1.98 0.00 35.23
83 Abington 9.3% 96.7% 62.67 6.25 0.00 35.22
84 Reading 8.7% 98.6% 69.50 2.80 1.20 35.19
85 West Boylston 1.8% 97.8% 68.67 6.42 1.28 35.17
86 Acton 6.8% 97.2% 69.50 3.59 0.45 34.99
87 Palmer 1.9% 94.9% 69.80 6.58 0.00 34.96
88 Braintree 14.9% 98.1% 63.60 2.77 0.28 34.96
89 Hudson 3.7% 96.1% 69.50 5.71 0.52 34.95
90 Milton 16.3% 98.5% 63.60 1.48 0.00 34.82
91 Stow 2.9% 98.6% 69.50 2.97 0.00 34.79
92 Maynard 4.9% 97.1% 69.50 4.90 0.98 34.79
93 Westfield 2.9% 96.3% 69.80 4.85 0.00 34.77
94 Westwood 12.1% 99.4% 63.60 2.04 0.00 34.69
95 Marblehead 9.5% 98.8% 65.20 2.51 0.00 34.47
96 Greenfield 7.8% 95.3% 69.00 5.71 1.14 34.38
97 Northborough 5.2% 98.1% 68.67 2.75 0.00 34.35
98 Townsend 1.4% 97.5% 69.50 5.53 1.11 34.21
99 Southampton 0.8% 98.0% 73.50 1.70 0.00 34.07
100 Westford 3.6% 98.6% 69.50 2.23 0.00 34.04
101 Burlington 4.9% 95.7% 69.50 4.82 0.40 33.93
102 Medway 4.3% 98.3% 63.60 6.22 0.78 33.91
103 Dalton 4.3% 99.1% 77.00 1.48 2.97 33.91
104 North Reading 4.3% 98.6% 69.50 2.65 0.66 33.74
105 Rutland 1.4% 99.4% 68.67 2.48 0.00 33.70
106 Merrimac 4.2% 97.8% 65.20 4.66 0.00 33.61
107 Ashland 6.7% 97.1% 69.50 2.98 0.60 33.58
108 Hopedale 3.2% 99.5% 68.67 1.69 0.00 33.58
109 Everett 28.0% 88.5% 69.50 3.09 0.48 33.48
110 East Longmeadow 2.1% 98.2% 69.80 2.53 0.00 33.40
111 Granby 3.0% 94.9% 73.50 3.20 0.00 33.29
112 Sterling 1.8% 98.8% 68.67 2.55 0.00 33.21
113 Dennis 4.0% 94.4% 74.00 2.82 0.00 32.96
114 Holden 1.8% 99.1% 68.67 2.85 0.57 32.94
115 Yarmouth 5.6% 93.3% 74.00 3.79 0.42 32.94
116 Georgetown 3.6% 98.7% 65.20 3.62 0.00 32.94
117 Belchertown 1.8% 98.1% 73.50 1.36 0.68 32.87
118 Brewster 4.9% 94.8% 74.00 2.04 0.00 32.79
119 Worcester 10.4% 95.1% 68.67 2.75 0.16 32.67
120 Gardner 5.5% 96.4% 68.67 2.96 0.00 32.52
121 Lunenburg 1.6% 95.9% 68.67 4.74 0.00 32.50
122 Ware 2.9% 96.0% 73.50 3.04 1.01 32.49
123 Sharon 16.2% 98.2% 63.60 1.69 1.13 32.45
124 Medfield 8.5% 99.5% 63.60 1.65 0.00 32.36
125 Chelmsford 3.3% 98.1% 69.50 2.05 0.29 32.35
126 Sutton 2.2% 99.6% 68.67 1.11 0.00 32.32
127 Hadley 5.8% 97.3% 73.50 1.90 1.90 32.28
128 Clinton 2.8% 95.9% 68.67 5.13 0.73 32.27
129 Pepperell 1.1% 94.8% 69.50 5.15 0.00 32.02
130 Rochester 0.6% 98.3% 62.67 5.66 0.00 31.96
131 Winchendon 3.1% 98.3% 68.67 2.89 0.96 31.82
132 Shrewsbury 3.5% 97.5% 68.67 2.51 0.28 31.73
133 Framingham 8.1% 92.6% 69.50 5.05 0.43 31.69
134 Sturbridge 0.3% 99.0% 68.67 3.22 1.07 31.59
135 Shirley 5.8% 96.9% 69.50 1.34 0.00 31.56
136 Plainville 3.2% 99.2% 63.60 4.75 1.19 31.52
137 Foxborough 6.7% 96.3% 63.60 5.30 0.59 31.44
138 Canton 13.4% 98.3% 63.60 0.92 0.46 31.28
139 Wareham 2.7% 95.2% 62.67 7.24 0.00 31.25
140 Montague 5.3% 96.0% 69.00 2.37 0.00 31.25
141 Norwood 12.9% 96.4% 63.60 3.48 1.05 31.17
142 Wrentham 4.8% 96.8% 63.60 4.52 0.00 31.12
143 Middleton 3.6% 98.0% 65.20 4.38 1.10 30.98
144 Dracut 2.5% 98.3% 69.50 1.67 0.67 30.89
145 Duxbury 6.0% 98.5% 62.67 2.64 0.00 30.48
146 Wilmington 4.1% 97.9% 69.50 0.88 0.44 30.45
147 Marlborough 2.8% 95.7% 69.50 3.35 0.51 30.38
148 Scituate 11.8% 98.5% 62.67 0.55 0.00 30.34
149 Rowley 9.7% 97.1% 65.20 3.38 1.69 30.26
150 Ayer 5.9% 97.8% 69.50 1.32 1.32 30.18
151 Andover 7.5% 98.3% 65.20 1.19 0.30 30.17
152 Middleborough 3.7% 96.8% 62.67 5.16 0.43 29.94
153 North Attleborough 4.5% 97.5% 63.25 3.83 0.35 29.91
154 Fitchburg 6.7% 95.5% 68.67 2.48 0.74 29.73
155 Randolph 12.3% 96.2% 63.60 1.53 0.00 29.70
156 Leominster 3.9% 93.5% 68.67 4.16 0.00 29.58
157 Templeton 2.2% 96.0% 68.67 2.49 0.00 29.54
158 Rockland 5.3% 97.4% 62.67 3.99 0.57 29.54
159 Dudley 2.4% 97.6% 68.67 0.87 0.00 29.37
160 Uxbridge 1.0% 95.8% 68.67 2.97 0.00 29.37
161 Saugus 8.3% 97.0% 65.20 1.11 0.00 29.30
162 Groveland 3.5% 98.4% 65.20 1.50 0.00 29.28
163 Blackstone 1.7% 95.0% 68.67 3.32 0.00 29.19
164 Westborough 5.0% 97.2% 68.67 1.63 1.09 29.18
165 Peabody 4.3% 96.1% 65.20 3.69 0.39 29.13
166 Walpole 7.3% 98.0% 63.60 1.23 0.00 29.08
167 Marshfield 4.1% 97.6% 62.67 3.56 0.40 28.87
168 Billerica 4.0% 97.2% 69.50 0.49 0.49 28.76
169 Lynn 16.2% 93.2% 65.20 2.09 0.55 28.69
170 Stoughton 7.3% 97.0% 63.60 1.82 0.00 28.61
171 Plymouth 6.1% 97.0% 62.67 3.16 0.35 28.59
172 Webster 5.7% 95.6% 68.67 1.79 0.60 28.59
173 Norton 8.1% 97.9% 63.25 1.56 0.52 28.56
174 Northbridge 1.8% 96.4% 68.67 3.16 1.26 28.39
175 Lakeville 6.5% 95.4% 62.67 3.70 0.00 28.16
176 Tewksbury 2.9% 97.5% 69.50 0.34 0.68 27.99
177 Mansfield 11.3% 96.7% 63.25 0.43 0.00 27.92
178 North Andover 4.7% 97.1% 65.20 1.74 0.35 27.83
179 Barnstable 4.6% 92.0% 74.00 1.78 0.44 27.58
180 Hanover 9.1% 98.6% 62.67 1.43 1.43 27.58
181 Pembroke 4.0% 98.0% 62.67 1.67 0.00 27.30
182 Southbridge 2.5% 95.2% 68.67 2.39 0.60 27.29
183 Westport 1.2% 96.9% 63.25 3.21 0.00 27.12
184 Athol 2.3% 94.2% 68.67 3.45 0.86 26.91
185 Haverhill 6.5% 95.4% 65.20 2.12 0.49 26.76
186 Dartmouth 4.2% 97.9% 63.25 1.75 0.58 26.68
187 Oxford 1.9% 96.9% 68.67 0.73 0.73 26.50
188 Danvers 4.6% 97.6% 65.20 1.86 1.49 26.37
189 Bridgewater 11.1% 95.2% 62.67 1.51 0.38 26.22
190 Somerset 3.5% 97.7% 63.25 1.10 0.00 26.21
191 Norwell 8.3% 97.6% 62.67 0.95 0.95 26.03
192 Freetown 2.0% 96.7% 63.25 2.24 0.00 25.81
193 West Bridgewater 9.0% 93.6% 62.67 2.89 0.00 25.79
194 Milford 4.0% 93.5% 68.67 2.49 0.71 25.70
195 Hanson 4.9% 96.4% 62.67 2.93 0.98 25.57
196 Millbury 2.0% 96.4% 68.67 1.51 1.51 25.52
197 Dighton 2.3% 97.3% 63.25 1.41 0.00 25.51
198 Holbrook 6.6% 97.2% 63.60 0.92 0.92 25.34
199 Methuen 1.8% 96.3% 65.20 2.10 0.63 25.21
200 Acushnet 1.5% 95.7% 63.25 2.91 0.00 25.20
201 East Bridgewater 3.3% 97.2% 62.67 2.16 0.72 25.16
202 Halifax 6.1% 94.5% 62.67 2.65 0.00 25.14
203 Attleboro 6.3% 95.2% 63.25 2.52 0.69 25.08
204 Berkley 0.6% 97.4% 63.25 1.55 0.00 24.98
205 Whitman 4.9% 95.4% 62.67 2.06 0.00 24.84
206 Mattapoisett 3.5% 94.5% 62.67 3.29 0.00 24.74
207 Kingston 4.3% 96.3% 62.67 2.37 0.79 24.64
208 Fairhaven 3.4% 95.6% 63.25 2.51 0.63 24.21
209 Fall River 5.4% 94.4% 63.25 2.70 0.56 24.06
210 Bellingham 3.4% 96.8% 63.60 0.61 0.61 23.27
211 Brockton 9.6% 93.5% 62.67 1.60 0.43 23.18
212 Taunton 3.3% 95.6% 63.25 0.89 0.18 22.61
213 New Bedford 6.1% 92.9% 63.25 2.42 0.32 22.46
214 Lawrence 7.6% 89.9% 65.20 3.12 0.26 21.87
215 Swansea 0.7% 95.8% 63.25 1.25 1.25 19.94
216 Carver 2.2% 94.9% 62.67 0.87 0.87 19.23

 

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Methodology

The score for each place was derived from the following sources:

1. Proportion of commuters who don’t drive is 30% of the score. Research from Harvard Medical School shows that people who walk, bike or use public transportation are healthier than those who drive.
2. Health insurance coverage data from the census bureau and hospital survey rankings from Medicare are each 15% of the score.
3. The number of parks per 10,000 residents is 30% of the score. Proximity to parks is directly related to activity levels for children and adults.
4. The number of McDonald’s per 10,000 residents is 10% of the score. According to economists, proximity to fast food restaurants has a significant correlation with obesity, especially for school-age children.

Data are from the 2013 American Community Survey, OpenStreetMap, Medicare and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NerdWallet analyzed 216 places in Massachusetts. Places with fewer than 5,000 residents and 30 places without park data aren’t included on the final list.


Cambridge, Massachusetts, image via iStock.