5 Best and Worst Cities For People With Asthma

cities for asthma, places to live with asthma, worst places to live with asthma

Living with asthma, just like living with any other pulmonary condition, isn’t easy. There are lots of different things that contribute to exacerbating your asthma, but what many people don’t know is that where you live is one of them. The US is full of cities with a wide variety of weather types and climates, and if you suffer from asthma then some of them are much better or worse for you to live in.

We’ve crafted a list of the 5 best and worst cities for people who suffer from asthma to live in. 

Some cities are more asthma-friendly than others, and when we say “asthma-friendly” we mean the amount of air pollution, asthma occurrence rates, healthcare, public smoking rules, and poverty level. Every year, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America rates U.S. cities as the best and worst for people who suffer from asthma to live in.  Here are the results for 2018:

5 Best Cities For People With Asthma

5. Abilene, Texas

According to the latest data, Abilene has a considerably low asthma rate. Also, 10 years ago Abilene adopted a ban on smoking in public and work places, which creates a suitable environment for asthma sufferers.

4. San Jose, California

Even though San Jose’s air quality is considered average, it has a decent ranking for its healthcare, public smoking regulations, and pollen level. On top of that, the city is participating in the Spare the Air program that allows implementing the projects improving local air quality.

3. Seattle, Washington

Seattle is a great place for people with asthma due to its air quality, pollen level, and healthcare. Additionally, these years the city is allocating more resources to improve the local air quality.

2. Boise, Idaho

Boise is one of our favorite cities to recommend for people with asthma (after Florida locations), as it has a great level of air quality, low pollen, low poverty rate, and a required level of healthcare.

1. San Francisco, California

Not only is San Francisco a top city for its air quality, smoking laws, and low pollen, they also have an Asthma Task Force that helps to prevent asthma and improve the life quality for people with this pulmonary condition.

5 Worst Cities For People With Asthma

5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City is not going to be a pleasant and easy-to-live-in location for people with asthma due to its low air quality and a high level of pollen. In addition to that, there are no public smoking laws that would be helpful for people with asthma.

4. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit has a pretty high rate of asthma prevalence as well as crude death asthma rate. Also, the city has a low air quality, high pollen score, high poverty rate, and no strong public smoking regulations.

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Despite its beautiful landscape and a decent life quality level, Philadelphia is not the greatest location for asthma sufferers. The city has earned a below-average ranking for all the categories including but not limited to air quality, public smoking laws, asthma death rates, and poverty rates.

2. Richmond, Virginia

Richmond is also ranked way below average for most of the ranking factors like air quality, pollen level, public smoking laws, emergency room visits, and asthma death rate.

1. Memphis, Tennessee

Although Memphis’s air quality is average, almost all other factors are not delivering good results. For example, the city’s asthma occurrence rate, as well as asthma death rate, are pretty high, while the number of asthma specialists is considerably low. On top of that, the pollen score just like the poverty rate are very high.


As you might already know, asthma is a chronic condition that can’t be completely cured. However, it can be well-managed with a proper lifestyle and living location. Now, if you’ve found your city in one of the lists for the worst places for people with asthma, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to move away urgently. This means that you have to pay closer attention to your asthma management and plan everything in advance, according to your chronic condition. And, of course, if you have any questions or concerns, our pulmonologists can help you with your asthma management and treatment.