America’s 21 Least Indulgent Metropolitan Populations

America's 21 Least Indulgent Metropolitan Populations

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CardRates.com Staff
By: CardRates.com Staff
Posted: November 1, 2016
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With Easter right around the corner, millions of people around the globe are celebrating the end of Lent, the practice of abstaining from indulging one or more vices for 40 days straight.

We previously covered America’s 20 most OVER-indulgent metropolitan areas over at BadCredit.org, now it’s time to take a look those who’re practicing the most self-restraint when it comes to eating, drinking, smoking and racking up debt.

We pulled data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s the credit-reporting bureau Experian to analyze four factors across 105 metropolitan areas:

  • Percentage of citizens considered “obese” (those with a body mass index greater than 30)
  • Percentage of citizens considered “heavy drinkers” (adult men having more than two drinks per day and adult women having more than one drink per day)
  • Percentage of citizens who smoke every day
  • Average debt per consumer (excluding mortgages).¹

Keep in mind that these rankings were determined by stats about each metro’s actual residents and not its visitors or tourists — which may help explain why cities like Las Vegas made the list.

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20. Las Vegas, Nevada (tie)

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
27.4%5.8%11.6%$28,260

We know what you’re probably thinking — how did Sin City even make this list? According to the hard data, it appears actual Las Vegans want very little to do with the debauchery and excess found on the strip.

20. Boise, Idaho (tie)

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
28.1%5.6%11.1%$28,367

Not only is Boise, Idaho one of the most temperate areas in the nation, but the surrounding Ada County is among the top 10 healthiest in the state as well. Whatever their secret, Boiseans appear to be “getting it right.”

19. Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
29.9%4.2%15.4%$26,991

Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the largest cities in the Appalachians, offering a welcoming blend of both the old and new. Perhaps the nearby the plentiful hiking opportunities in the Smoky Mountains offer residents a cheap, sobering and invigorating alternative to harmful vices.

17. Fargo, North Dakota (tie)

Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
25.1%3.9%14.7%$29,023

Forbes named Fargo, North Dakota the #4 fastest-growing city in the U.S. last year. Perhaps its residents are too busy working and building their community to waste time with junk food, alcohol and similar vices.

17. El Paso, Texas (tie)

El Paso, Texas

El Paso, Texas
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
29.4%5.2%10.5%$28,152

When it comes to taking things in moderation, the people of El Paso, Texas are masters of self-discipline. It only seems fitting that one of the largest military training installations in the nation, Fort Bliss, calls the area home.

16. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
28.1%5.7%11.9%$27,950

As one of Florida’s most iconic cities, there’s plenty for Orlandoans to do in their spare time. With golf courses, green spaces and theme parks galore, it’s no wonder so many locals are staying active and avoiding harmful behaviors.

14. Raleigh, North Carolina (tie)

Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
24.3%5%10.6%$29,607

Raleigh previously made our list of the 20 hardest-working cities in America — perhaps locals are so busy with work that they don’t have time to be lazy and indulge in harmful activities. Plus all that work likely helps keep their debts under control.

14. Phoenix, Arizona (tie)

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
25.3%5%10.8%$29,269

Early Phoenix, Arizona was built upon five Cs: copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate. Perhaps it’s time they add a sixth one — conservative, constraint and continence all seem like good fits.

13. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
21.1%8.1%10.4%$28,099

Back in the 18th century, Bostonians were dumping tea. Today it looks like they’re doing the same with unhealthy foods, alcohol, tobacco and debt. Then again, Boston has one of the highest costs-of-living in the U.S. — maybe its residents just can’t afford to keep up those unhealthy habits.

12. San Diego, California

San Diego, California

San Diego, California
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
22.3%8%6.6%$28,438

San Diego gets its name from Didacus of Alcalá, a Cahtolic saint known for, among other things, his exceptional prudence. It appears his self-restraint lives on in the healthy, thriving people of San Diego.

9. Lincoln, Nebraska (tie)

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
24.6%6.3%14.8%$26,519

The people of Lincoln, Nebraska are a responsible group, especially when it comes to their money. They were savvy enough to make our list of America’s 20 most financially responsible cities, also.

9. Grand Rapids, Michigan (tie)

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
24.4%6.6%13.8%$26,603

Grand Rapids, Michigan has a reputation for putting the health of its citizens first. After all, it was the first city in the U.S. to administer cavity-preventing fluoride in their water supply back in 1945.

9. Colorado Springs, Colorado (tie)

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
21.1%4.3%12.9%$30,199

The people of Colorado Springs are hard-working and industrious, with little time for excessive consumption. Roughly one-fifth of the area’s workers find employment through the local military installations in the area, so you can be sure self-discipline runs deep in the community.

8. Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
25.8%6.4%13.4%$26,845

To be provident means to make provisions for the future, or to be particularly frugal, according to Merriam-Webster. It should come as no surprise that the people of Providence, Rhode Island particularly careful with their debt and vices.

7. Riverside, California

Riverside, California

Riverside, California
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
29.1%5.2%8.3%$27,789

Due to local geography and industry, Riverside, California is located in a “smog belt” and has been having air pollution trouble recently — perhaps many of the residents aren’t willing to take risks with obesity, alcohol and tobacco when they already have other health concerns to worry about.

6. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
22.9%5.6%11.5%$28,131

We’re not sure if Tucson, Arizona has a low obesity rate because its residents have healthy diets, or if the blazing Sonoran sun is making them sweat out everything they eat and drink. Either way, the people of Tucson seem to have their lives under control.

5. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
19.1%6%7.2%$27,693

As the preeminent tech hub of the U.S., the San Francisco Bay area is chock-full of some of the brightest minds in the country. Perhaps their hard-working, entrepreneurial spirits keep them away from wasteful indulgences.

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
24.3%4.5%9%$27,312

Like Raleigh, Salt Lake City also made our list of America’s 20 hardest working cities. That, combined with their history of unusual liquor laws, seems to be keeping locals fit, healthy and responsible.

3. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
25%5%6.9%$26,607

You’d think the city with some of the worst traffic in the United States would have a higher obesity rate, but it looks like the people of Los Angeles are finding other ways to exercise and stay sober when they’re not stuck in traffic.

2. New York City, New York

New York City, New York

New York City, New York
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
21.7%4.5%9.1%$27,769

Sure, there are a handful of obscenely rich people who won’t bat an eyelash at dropping $100 million for a penthouse suite, but the majority of New York City’s people are hard at work and staying away from food, drink and other habits that’ll slow them down. It is the “city that never sleeps,” after all.

1. Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida
Citizens considered “obese”Citizens claiming to be “heavy drinkers” Citizens who smoke every dayAverage consumer debt
23.1%4.6%8.6%$27,294

With some of the best beaches in America, plenty of healthy Caribbean and Latino cuisine options and , Miami residents are living surprisingly healthy and conservative lives. And although the city went bankrupt in 2001, they’ve since bounced back and become one of the world’s richest cities.

¹Data sources: the CDC’s most recent Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Systemsurvey (2012) and Experian’s State of Credit report (2014). All four metrics were weighed equally. Certain metropolitan/micropolitan areas were omitted due to insufficient data from both sources. While ideal, we were unable to find metro-level drug addiction data.

Photo credits: wikimedia.org (20/1), buyidahorealestate.com (20/2), leeabamonte.com (19), areavoices.com (17/1), Flickr/Rick LoBello (17/2), city-data.com (16), wikimedia.org (14/1),(13), (9/1),  tripadvisor.com (9/2), bloomberg.com (9/3), wikimedia.org (8), travelpod.com (7), aztechbeat.com (6), yurtopic.com (5), Al Hartmann/Salt Lake Tribune (4), losangelesloveaffair.wordpress.com (3), filmsofcrawford.com (2), dvarchive.com (1)