America’s Top 20 Metros, Ranked for Healthcare

Healthcare Writer

Updated on July 25th, 2024

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Healthcare in the United States’ biggest cities matters more than ever as Americans increasingly choose urban lifestyles. 

How do America’s most populous metros compare on healthcare?  Cost, access and quality vary widely.

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An ER visit can run five times as much in San Francisco as in Minneapolis. Dallas has 12 highly rated hospitals while Miami, Atlanta and Detroit have only two each. 

Meanwhile, your risk of catching COVID-19 is lowest in Seattle. But beware if you go to Detroit or Miami. Both cities are tops in terms of risk.

From Los Angeles to New York City, HealthCareInsider analyzed the top 20 metropolitan regions to see which offers the best healthcare. 

Compare the cities on individual health metrics in the map above, and view the chart and table below for final rankings on cost, quality and access.

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Minneapolis-St. Paul268.7721.4221.6525.70
San Diego758.3814.2817.2126.89
Washington D.C.1151.4817.3713.8820.23
Los Angeles1251.2412.8518.8719.52
New York1350.2811.9022.2016.18
San Francisco1646.604.5214.7127.37
Riverside-San Bernardino1841.2914.5212.4914.28

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  • Hospital Beds Per 1000 People
    Best City: San Diego
    Worst City: Washington D.C.
  • Nurses Per 1,000 Jobs
    Best City: Philadelphia
    Worst City: Washington D.C.
  • Surgeons Per 1,000 People
    Best City: Boston
    Worst City: Atlanta
  • Mental Health And Substance Abuse Social Workers Per 1,000 Jobs
    Best City: Boston
    Worst City: Houston and Atlanta tie
  • Total Healthcare Workers Per 1,000 Jobs
    Best City: Philadelphia
    Worst City: San Francisco
  • Visits To Dentist Or Dental Clinic In The Previous Year Among Adults Aged 18+  (%)
    Best City: Seattle
    Worst City: Detroit and Dallas tie 


  • Hospital Satisfaction: Patient Ratings (1-5)
    Best City: Dallas
    Worst City: Miami
  • Percent Receiving Preventive Services 65+
    Best City: Washington D.C.
    Worst City: New York
  • Percent Receiving Adequate Prenatal Care
    Best City: San Francisco
    Worst City: Houston
  • Life Expectancy
    Best City: San Francisco
    Worst City: Detroit
  • Percent Uninsured
    Best City: Boston
    Worst City: Dallas
  • COVID Local Risk
    Best City: Seattle
    Worst City: Detroit and Miami tie
  • Cardiovascular Deaths Per 100,000
    Best City: Boston
    Worst City: Miami


  • Insurance Premium (average ACA silver plan)
    Best City: Atlanta
    Worst City: Washington D.C.
  • Healthcare Cost Index (*average healthcare service prices compared to the national average)
    Best City: Baltimore
    Worst City: San Francisco
  • Angioplasty (open blocked coronary arteries)
    Best City: Riverside-San Bernardino
    Worst City: New York
  • Ambulance Transportation
    Best City: Baltimore
    Worst City: Dallas
  • Emergency Department Visit
    Best City: Minneapolis-St. Paul
    Worst City: San Francisco
  • Simple Dental Cleaning
    Best City: Boston
    Worst City: New York
  • Average Colonoscopy
    Best City: Chicago
    Worst City: San Francisco


In order to determine which most populous U.S. cities offers the best healthcare, HealthCareInsider compared 20 urban areas across three categories: 1) Cost, 2) Access, and 3) Quality.

We evaluated these categories using the 20 measures below. For each measure, cities were graded on a 100-point scale. A score of 100 represented the best performance.

Lastly, we added each metro’s score across all measures to rank America’s 20 top cities.

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, United States Census Bureau, NYU Langone Health City Health Dashboard, Kaiser Family Foundation, FAIR Health, Turquoise Health and research. 

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