Falls Church is the “healthiest” community in the US, according to a new ranking from the U.S. News & World Report. The city, with a population of just over 12,000, was noted for having one of the best school systems, lowest poverty rates, and lowest crime rates in the country.
The survey, released Monday in partnership with the Aetna Foundation, evaluated nearly 3,000 counties and cities and ranked them across 10 categories, including housing, environment, food and nutrition, and infrastructure.
Two other Northern Virginia communities made it into the top 10: Fairfax City (#6), and Loudoun County (#10), both noted for their overall emphasis on exercising and healthy eating.
The researchers also took into account factors like racial disparities in education, community segregation, and the disability employment gap.
“Research has shown that in the United States, your ZIP code is a greater predictor of your life expectancy than your genetic code,” Mark T. Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, said in a statement. “In other words, where you live has a significant impact on your overall health.”
Meanwhile, DC did not make the top 500 list, primarily due to housing inequality. And despite its high rankings in income, educational attainment, and walkability, the three top-ranked Northern Virginia communities had relatively poor housing affordability and environment scores.
See the full rankings here.