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Best Places In America For Access To Healthy Food

by Liam Johnson
Tuesday, August 11, 2015



As part of our series on Access to Healthy Food in the United States, we take a look at the best major neighborhoods when it comes to having access to healthy food.

Access to healthy food can bring triple major benefits to most communities -- better health, new jobs, and a revitalized economy. However, almost 30 million Americans still live in areas with limited access to supermarkets. This means that they also have limited choices to fresh and healthy food.

Research shows that having access to fresh and healthy foods is one of several factors that not only contribute to improved eating habits but also has a positive impact in health outcomes, including decreased risk for obesity and diet-related diseases. In the past two decades, most researchers have found that people who live in neighborhoods with better access to healthy food also have better nutrition and better health. Without access to healthy food, a nutritious diet is out of reach.

Don Hinkle-Brown, President and CEO of The Reinvestment Fund, a community development financial institution that invests in distressed markets and conducts research on policy issues that influence neighborhood revitalization and economic growth, believes the benefits from access go beyond health.

He stated that "decades of public and private disinvestment have left low-income neighborhoods to contend with abandoned supermarket buildings and a glut of fast food and convenience stores, cutting them off from all the economic benefits that accompany a local grocery store: the creation of steady jobs at decent wages. Healthy food retail can serve as economic anchors in a community, generating new income while attracting complementary stores and services like banks, pharmacies, and restaurants."

We had previously written about some of the worst places in the United State when it comes to providing access to healthy food, in this article we will take a look at those major neighborhoods who are taking the fight towards ending poor access of healthy food choices to its residents.

We used the following criteria when selecting the areas featured in our list;

  • Access of Population to Supermarkets: For the urban residents in the neighborhood they had to be within a mile of the supermarkets, while rural residents were within 10 miles of a supermarket. In most cases, an average of the combined rates for the rural and urban populations were used to determine the overall rate of the county.
  • Population of 100,000 and above


Best Places In America For Access to Healthy Food



50

Marion, Oregon

315,335
Total Population


10.1%
Rate of Population With Low Access

49

King, Washington

1,931,249
Total Population


9.92%
Rate of Population With Low Access

48

Warren, Kentucky

113,792
Total Population


9.89%
Rate of Population With Low Access

47

Jefferson, Kentucky

741,096
Total Population


9.6%
Rate of Population With Low Access

46

Fairfax, Virginia

1,081,726
Total Population


9.58%
Rate of Population With Low Access

45

Sebastian, Arkansas

125,744
Total Population


9.57%
Rate of Population With Low Access

44

Berks, Pennsylvania

411,442
Total Population


9.55%
Rate of Population With Low Access

43

Miami-Dade, Florida

2,496,435
Total Population


9.3%
Rate of Population With Low Access

42

Chautauqua, New York

134,905
Total Population


8.98%
Rate of Population With Low Access

41

San Mateo, California

718,451
Total Population


8.54%
Rate of Population With Low Access

40

Douglas, Nebraska

517,110
Total Population


8.51%
Rate of Population With Low Access

39

Washington, Oregon

529,710
Total Population


8.41%
Rate of Population With Low Access

38

Vanderburgh, Indiana

179,703
Total Population


8.36%
Rate of Population With Low Access

37

Lucas, Ohio

441,815
Total Population


8.34%
Rate of Population With Low Access

36

Montgomery, Maryland

971,777
Total Population


8.28%
Rate of Population With Low Access

35

Cuyahoga, Ohio

1,280,122
Total Population


8.03%
Rate of Population With Low Access

34

Stanislaus, California

514,453
Total Population


7.84%
Rate of Population With Low Access

33

Lackawanna, Pennsylvania

214,437
Total Population


7.44%
Rate of Population With Low Access

32

Westchester, New York

949,113
Total Population


7.34%
Rate of Population With Low Access

31

Wayne, Michigan

1,820,584
Total Population


7.18%
Rate of Population With Low Access

30

Androscoggin, Maine

107,702
Total Population


7.07%
Rate of Population With Low Access

29

San Joaquin, California

685,306
Total Population


6.92%
Rate of Population With Low Access

28

Nassau, New York

1,339,532
Total Population


6.86%
Rate of Population With Low Access

27

Salt Lake, Utah

1,029,655
Total Population


6.66%
Rate of Population With Low Access

26

Passaic, New Jersey

501,226
Total Population


6.57%
Rate of Population With Low Access

25

Santa Clara, California

1,781,642
Total Population


6.43%
Rate of Population With Low Access

24

Essex, New Jersey

783,969
Total Population


6.4%
Rate of Population With Low Access

23

Multnomah, Oregon

735,334
Total Population


6.22%
Rate of Population With Low Access

22

Bergen, New Jersey

905,116
Total Population


5.91%
Rate of Population With Low Access

21

Los Angeles, California

9,818,605
Total Population


5.83%
Rate of Population With Low Access

20 Schuylkill, Pennsylvania

148,289
Total Population
79,504
Urban Population
68,785
Rural Population

5.55%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
11.11%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

19 Richmond, New York

468,730
Total Population
468,730
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

5.52%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
5.52%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

18 St. Louis City, Missouri

319,294
Total Population
316,824
Urban Population
2,470
Rural Population

5.48%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
10.96%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

17 Jefferson, Louisiana

432,552
Total Population
424,619
Urban Population
7,933
Rural Population

5.44%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
10.87%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

16 Broward, Florida

1,748,066
Total Population
1,739,549
Urban Population
8,517
Rural Population

5.43%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
10.85%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

15 Alameda, California

1,510,271
Total Population
1,484,277
Urban Population
25,994
Rural Population

5.37%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
10.48%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
.26%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

14 Orange, California

3,010,232
Total Population
2,999,647
Urban Population
10,585
Rural Population

4.59%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
9.18%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

13 Cook, Illinois

5,194,675
Total Population
5,184,332
Urban Population
10,343
Rural Population

3.37%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
6.74%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

12 District of Columbia, District of Columbia

601,723
Total Population
601,723
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

2.94%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
2.94%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

11 Baltimore City, Maryland

620,961
Total Population
620,961
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

2.7%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
2.7%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access

10 San Francisco, California

805,235
Total Population
802,550
Urban Population
2,685
Rural Population

2.35%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
4.7%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

9 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1,526,006
Total Population
1,526,006
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

1.92%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
1.92%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

8 Suffolk, Massachusetts

722,023
Total Population
721,488
Urban Population
535
Rural Population

1.73%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
3.46%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

7 Arlington, Virginia

207,627
Total Population
207,627
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

1.66%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
1.66%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

6 Hudson, New Jersey

634,266
Total Population
634,266
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

1.09%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
1.09%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

5 Queens, New York

2,230,722
Total Population
2,230,722
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

.59%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
.59%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

4 New York, New York

1,585,873
Total Population
1,585,873
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

.35%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
.35%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

3 Bronx, New York

1,385,108
Total Population
1,385,069
Urban Population
39
Rural Population

.33%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
.66%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

2 Kings, New York

2,504,700
Total Population
2,500,076
Urban Population
4,624
Rural Population

.01%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
.01%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units

1 Alexandria, Virginia

139,966
Total Population
139,966
Urban Population
-
Rural Population

0%
Rate of Total Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Total Urban Population With Low Access
0%
Rate of Rural Population With Low Access
Population
Urbanization
Housing Units


Source: Economic Research Service (ERS) of the United States Department of Agriculture

Source: O*NET

Source: O*NET

Source: O*NET

Source: O*NET

Source: O*NET

Source: O*NET

Source: O*NET

Source: O*NET