Healthiest Cities for Women: Where Are We on the List?

Gary, Ind. ranks near bottom for second year

Northwest Indiana improved a bit, but it's still among the nation's unhealthiest places for women to live, according to Self magazine.

The magazine named the Gary metropolitan area the unhealthiest place for women in 2007, but it was replaced this year by Detroit. Gary now comes in at 99 out of the magazine's survey of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area is ranked 55th, down from 53 last year. The Lake County, Ill.-Kenosha County, Wis., area is ranked 46th. It was unranked last year.

The Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Md., area took the top spot on the list.

The magazine said the list was determined by analyzing roughly 8,000 bits of data in more than 50 categories, including death and disease rates, environmental indicators, community resources and lifestyle habits.

The Gary region's rating was the result of an unfortunate trifecta:

The area has the low score of any area for healthy eating habits, it's among five areas with the highest obesity rates, and it's in the bottom 10 areas for rates of women getting mammograms, breast exams and colonoscopies.

On the plus side, the area has nearly 40 percent fewer rapes reported than the average place, the rates of sexually transmitted diseases is 43 percent lower than list average and drinking rates are 24 percent below average.

In the Chicago area, the magazine said women are 44 percent more likely than average to contract a sexually transmitted disease and are in the bottom quarter for the rate of women getting mammograms and colonoscopies. Traffic is also blamed, with the area having among the 10 longest average commutes at nearly 70 minutes round trip.

However, the area boasts a below-average depression rate and a suicide rate that's 34 percent lower than average. There are also below-average rates of migraines and allergies and the number of automobile deaths is nearly one third lower than list average.

Self Magazine:  Secrets of America's Healthiest Women

Contact Us