Best Places to Live in the U.S. if You Have Allergies

by Kathi MacNaughton Health Professional

Twice every year the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America analyzes a variety of factors to come up with the worst places to live in the United States. The factors they look at include:

  • Pollen score

  • Average medication use per patient

  • Number of certified allergists

There was quite a bit of movement on the list since last spring when the list was last compiled. Usually when I report on this, I talk about the worst places to live. This time I thought it might be fun to go the other direction and look at some of the better places to live in the United States if you have allergies. But I will tell you the absolute worst place at this time is McAllen, Texas, which rated worse than average in all 3 factors.

The Best Places to Live

So where are the places with a low pollen count, lots of allergists and not much need for medicating? Well, take a look:

  • Portland. Doesn't matter whether you're talking east coast or west coast. If you live in Portland, Oregon (#100) or Portland, Maine (#89), chances are your allergies will be under control. Both cities rate better than average or average in all 3 factors.

  • California. Six different California cities rank in the top 26% of cities to live with allergies in the U.S. - San Diego (#97), Sacramento (#95), Stockton (#92), San Jose (#82), San Francisco (#78) and Fresno (#74). Seems the state that's known for both healthy lifestyles and unbelievable excesses does have something to offer to people living with allergies.

  • Mountain West. The mountain states have a reputation for clean air and clean living and that definitely seems to be true when it comes to the allergy factors. Four cities in the mountain west can claim to be healthy locations for allergy sufferers: Salt Lake City, UT (#94), Ogden, UT (#93), Colorado Springs, CO (#87) and Denver, CO (#84).

  • New England. Even with traffic congestion and air pollution, New England cities fared well in this survey. Seven of them were in the top 30%, including Boston, MA (#91), Portland, ME (#89), Worcester, MA (#88), Bridgeport, CT (#86), Springfield, MA (#79), New Haven, CT (#73) and Hartford, CT (#70).

  • Midwest. Seems there are both good and bad places to live in the midwest as many of the worst places are located there, while 4 of the top 30 are also: Cleveland, OH (#83), Youngstown, OH (#81), Minneapolis, MN (#75) and Chicago, IL (#72).

It's important to note that the AAFA only looks at 100 cities, so being #100 on the list is somewhat of a comparative factor. Cities and states that don't appear on the list at all are probably even better.

Kathi  MacNaughton
Meet Our Writer
Kathi MacNaughton

Kathi is an experienced consumer health education writer, with a prior career in nursing that spanned more than 30 years — much of it in the field of home health care. Over the past 15 years, she's been an avid contributor for a number of consumer health websites, specializing in asthma, allergy, and COPD. She writes not only as a healthcare professional, but also as a lifelong sufferer of severe allergies and mild asthma, and as a caregiver for her mother with COPD.