Self Magazine’s Best Place For Women 2006

If you are a magazine fiend like I am, then you have probably already seen the latest (December) issue of Self Magazine – the one with Cameron Diaz on the cover. Not the celebrity peruser I used to be, my personal interest in the magazine was the “healthiest cities for women” article. San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose all appear on the list, and pretty close to the top I might add. Keep reading to see what they said about these three cities; do you agree with their ratings?

San Francisco
Population: 1,689,500
Ranking: 7 out of 100 (down from #5 last year)
Fittest: #2
Least likely to be on a diet
Healthiest eaters: #5
Best environment: #1

+ Lowest obesity rate on list
+ Top score on list for dental health
+ Among five areas with most amount of park space

– Among the five areas with highest drinking rates
– Highest rates of allergies of anywhere on the list
– Scored in bottom 10 cities for women getting annual breast exams

San Jose
Population: 1,685,200
Ranking: 9 out of 100 (down from #2 last year)
Healthiest eaters: #2
Most sexually healthy: #2

+ Among five cities with lowest smoking rates
+ Among five cities with highest exercise rates
+ Cancer deaths in women 27 percent higher than average

– Among the cities with highest number of toxic sites
– Among five cities with highest allergy rates
– Scored in bottom fifth of list for amount of park space

Population: 2,464,400
Ranking: 25 out of 100
Safest roads: #4

+ Top score on list for health eating habits
+ Women have nearly half the risk of dying in an auto accident compared to the average place
+ California is among the five best states for access to birth control and abortion

– Among the five cities with highest allergy rates
– Among the ten cities with the worst score for women getting annual Pap smears
– Longer-than-average commute of 70 minutes a day

5 Comments so far

  1. anna (unregistered) on November 26th, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

    Donning my feminist hat, I’d think that “healthiest for women” would mean: cheap, good education for your kids, good day care, equal employment opportunities… sorry, this list takes a kind of myopic and yet generalizing approach to a complicated area of social science. They think the breast cancer rate is also related to either: the huge number of superfund sites in the area and/or the amount of women who work in high tech, and/or the amount of women who defer having children until their late 30s. (I got that from new yorker article like 6 years ago on comparing Japanese women & their rate to SF-BayArea women and their rate of breast cancer.)

  2. Victoria E (unregistered) on November 26th, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

    This is the kind of comment I was hoping for. It is very tough to try and do any ranking when it comes top cities simply because of the many factors involved. When it comes to women, it only gets more complicated.

    Still, I can’t help but we a little giddy that SF is still in the top 10 :D

  3. tyler82 (unregistered) on November 26th, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

    What year did they do this analysis 2030?? Either that or they got their population census for SF from a very inaccurate statistician !

  4. Wayan (unregistered) on November 26th, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    I can’t vouch for the specifics, but I was impressed by the number of women out running in SF. Also, there seemed to be a very high health-awareness if the number of vegitarian menu options are any guide.

  5. K (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 7:45 pm


    Denver comes in at 51/100 but is noted as having 20% higher rapes reported than the average.

    I wonder about this. I live in the burbs south of Denver, much safer.

    Overall, the Denver metro area is an extremely healthy and safe place to live. Lots of ways to recreate.


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