Best Cities in the World to Live for Your Health

If health is a top priority for you, especially when choosing where to live, you'll find this guide to the world's healthiest cities invaluable.

We've analyzed data from 40 of the world's largest and most famous cities, using 10 key metrics to compile our list:

  • Happiness index (as recently released in 2024)
  • Average weekly physical activity
  • Sunshine hours
  • Air quality index
  • Cost of a fitness club membership for one adult
  • Average sleep duration
  • Obesity rates
  • Total number of hospitals
  • Average workweek length
  • Price of bottled water

So, which cities are leading the way in promoting a healthy lifestyle?

#CityHappiness scoreMean number of physical exercise hours per week
Sunshine hours per yearAir pollution index*Fitness club monthly fee for adult, $Sleep time, h
Obesity levels, %Total number of hospitals
Average workweek, hWater (0.33 l bottle) price, $
1Amsterdam7.3212.801,662.0042.0059.047.3615.05691.0030.000.75
2Brussels6.896.901,546.0020.0033.567.1819.79162.0034.002.57
3Boston6.736.302,634.0013.0095.567.1041.646,129.0040.002.44
4Porto6.035.902,468.0028.0039.467.0021.97240.0038.001.20
5Vancouver6.906.601,938.0011.0045.927.0028.16706.0036.001.95
6Chicago6.736.302,508.0018.0079.407.1041.646,129.0041.002.34
7Dublin6.845.901,453.005.0051.036.0030.7086.0035.002.04
8Melbourne7.066.202,363.0012.0058.487.0032.051,339.0032.002.36
9Miami6.736.303,154.0020.0088.407.1041.646,129.0042.002.23
10Vienna6.916.802,048.0033.0041.377.1218.81268.0032.002.47
11Zurich7.066.501,566.0039.0097.416.3015.07276.0035.004.99
12Houston6.736.302,578.0028.0041.807.1041.646,129.0040.001.94
13Mexico City6.684.402,555.0080.0055.979.0032.225,019.0044.000.87
14Toronto6.906.602,066.0052.0053.357.0028.16706.0036.001.62
15Frankfurt6.7211.101,662.0048.0047.896.0023.082,979.0034.002.80
16New York6.736.302,536.0046.00119.127.1041.646,129.0040.002.27
17Buenos Aires6.194.402,525.0057.0022.717.0035.533,391.0034.000.96
18Paris6.613.701,662.0033.0041.886.2510.182,987.0035.002.97
19Geneva7.066.501,887.0030.0083.356.3015.07276.0036.004.17
20Hong Kong5.976.401,836.0087.0086.216.008.9436,570.0044.001.10
21Barcelona6.425.202,591.0045.0050.947.1619.39776.0038.001.70
22Seoul6.064.502,066.0091.0051.176.428.824,192.0038.000.81
23Beijing5.976.402,671.00132.0063.036.008.9436,570.0044.000.50
24Los Angeles6.736.303,254.0021.0057.227.1041.646,129.0040.001.99
25São Paulo6.275.001,894.0073.0030.797.1825.057,191.0039.000.90
26Milan6.323.601,915.00130.0071.856.0217.971,060.0035.001.57
27Singapore6.525.202,022.0057.0097.716.3616.0916.0044.001.37
28Washington6.736.302,528.0052.00104.297.1041.646,129.0040.002.23
29Madrid6.425.202,769.0065.0049.007.1619.39776.0038.001.73
30Istanbul4.985.802,218.0068.0038.876.4026.221,547.0044.000.47
31Stockholm7.345.301,803.0056.0039.876.0017.18100.0035.002.09
32Tel Aviv7.344.903,311.0058.0077.547.0023.8188.0034.002.39
33Sydney7.066.202,468.0025.0066.457.0032.051,339.0032.002.17
34Berlin6.7211.101,626.0060.0039.256.0023.082,979.0035.000.95
35Helsinki7.745.301,838.0060.0045.577.3621.88217.0035.001.83
36Copenhagen7.586.601,912.0060.0043.887.0015.7059.0034.003.08
37London6.756.301,633.0030.0045.196.3926.942,001.0033.001.77
38San Francisco6.736.303,062.0013.00106.897.1041.646,129.0040.002.25
39Tokyo6.063.301,877.0041.0059.267.137.638,205.0037.000.77
40Bangkok5.983.202,624.0082.0055.266.2012.101,356.0042.000.34

*Lower number indicates better air quality.

Methodology

To determine the healthiest cities, we evaluated 40 cities worldwide using 10 specific metrics (listed above). We assigned weighted scores to each metric and then combined them to give each city a total score out of 100. This total score helped us rank the cities, identifying the best ones for healthy living.

1. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam city health statistics

Securing a well-deserved top spot, Amsterdam has long been renowned for its cycling culture, with about 63% of its residents as daily bike riders. This dedication to clean transportation complements the city's increasing focus on personal health, wellness, and nutrition over recent years.

The average number of hours spent on physical activity per week in Amsterdam is twice the global average, at 12.8 hours. Situated in the Netherlands, the 6th happiest country globally, the capital boasts obesity levels at just 15.05%, nearly 10% lower than London (26.94%).

Amsterdam also features the shortest average workweek among the cities ranked, at only 30 hours. So, maybe working less frees up some space for sports and health in its citizens' schedules?

2. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels city health statistics

In the second-best city, 74% of Belgians report being in good health. Brussels ranks highly for satisfaction with healthcare services, with 87% of content residents. The city is dotted with green spaces, parks, and forests, including the Sonian Forest, Bois de la Cambre, and Parc du Cinquantenaire.

The city has one of the lowest air pollution indexes, standing at only 20. In just four years, the Brussels Capital Region’s low-emission zone (‘LEZ’) has helped produce a 30% reduction in air pollution, demonstrating how this traffic regulation measure visibly improves health and environmental conditions. Brussels offers very reasonable gym membership prices at $33.56, with residents engaging in an average of 6.9 hours of physical exercise per week.

3. Boston, United States

Boston city health statistics

Boston is known for top hospitals and research centers, like Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospital. It's also home to leading universities like Harvard Medical School.

People in Boston work about 40 hours a week but stay active, exercising for 6.3 hours a week. Gym memberships are pricey, at $95.56 on average. Moreover, Boston is renowned for hosting the Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon since 1897.

Speaking of the environment, Boston gets more sunshine than Porto or Mexico City, with over 2,634 hours a year. The city has a low air pollution, with an index of 13, and lots of parks and bike paths for residents to enjoy.

4. Porto, Portugal

Porto city health statistics

Vibrant Porto also boasts qualities that make it a top choice for healthy living. Its coastal location ensures plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, from walking along the Douro River to hiking in nearby natural parks. The city offers a diet rich in fresh seafood, vegetables, and olive oil, contributing to lower rates of heart disease and promoting overall well-being.

Porto benefits from a moderate climate, with 2,468 sunshine hours per year, encouraging year-round outdoor exercise with an average of 5.9 hours per week. It has a lower cost of living compared to other cities, making healthy food options and sports facilities more accessible. The monthly fitness gym membership is only $39.46.

5. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver city health statistics

Vancouver is considered one of the best cities for health and has been consistently recognized for its stunning natural beauty, environmental sustainability, and opportunities for outdoor activities. The city achieves a high happiness score of 6.9, and its residents engage in 6.6 hours of physical exercise weekly.

Vancouver's dedication to sustainability and environmental health is evident in having one of the lowest air pollution rates among major global cities, with a rating of 11.

6. Chicago, United States

Chicago city health statistics

Chicago ranks 6th among the best cities for your health, thanks to its 6.3 hours of physical exercise per week, 2,508 hours of sunshine annually, low pollution index of 18, and well-developed hospital infrastructure.

The city administration has implemented public health initiatives to improve residents' well-being, such as the Healthy Chicago 2025 plan. This plan aims to increase access to behavioral health treatment for all Chicagoans, with a focus on Black, Latinx, and Asian populations.

7. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin city health statistics

Dublin is known for its clean air, with a very low pollution index of 5, and a shorter average workweek of 35 hours, offering more time for leisure and self-care. Fitness club memberships are affordable, around $51.03 per month.

The city's health and well-being initiatives align with Healthy Ireland's National Framework, aiming to improve the Irish population's health across all life stages. The Keep Well campaign supports mental and physical well-being, with activities focusing on resilience, stress reduction, and self-care, strengthening both individuals and communities.

8. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne city health statistics

Melbourne's got it all with its chill vibe — only 32 hours of work each week and barely any pollution, with a score of 12. Healthcare is represented by big hospitals like The Alfred and St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne.

If you love coffee and good food, Melbourne is your heaven. It's said to have more cafés and restaurants per person than any other place in the world.

9. Miami, United States

Miami city health statistics

Miami is all about that sunshine, with 3,154 hours of it every year. People here love to stay active, clocking in around 6.3 hours of weekly exercise, and hitting the gym or going for a run at least three times a week.

You'll find plenty of farmers' markets and co-ops around, stocked with fresh, organic, and locally sourced fruits and veggies. The air and water quality here is good compared to other parts of the country, making Miami a great spot for a healthy lifestyle.

10. Vienna, Austria

Vienna city health statistics

Vienna consistently ranks high in various ratings and is known for its residents' active lifestyles, with an average of 6.8 hours of physical exercise per week. The city has a low obesity rate of 18.81% and an average workweek of just 32 hours. In 2023, Vienna was named the most livable city in the world for the second year in a row, solidifying its reputation as a great place for a healthy lifestyle.

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