“unhealthy” Johnstown

Johnstown is the unhealthiest city in Pennsylvania, according to this 24/7 Wall Street ranking, for its relatively low median household income and high rates of smoking, obesity and premature death (linked to the opioid epidemic).


38. Pennsylvania: Johnstown

  • Premature death rate (per 100,000): 462.5 (state: 359.2)
  • Adult obesity rate: 29.3% (state: 29.9%)
  • Adult smoking rate: 17.3% (state: 18.0%)
  • Median household income: $46,598 (state: $59,195)

Johnstown is the only metro area in Pennsylvania where adults report an average of more than four physically unhealthy days per month. Johnstown also has the highest premature death rate of any of the 18 metro areas in Pennsylvania. There are 463 deaths before age 75 annually for every 100,000 metro area residents, well above the state premature death rate of 359 per 100,000.

Pennsylvania has been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic, and Johnstown is one of the hardest hit metro areas in the state. For every 100,000 Johnstown residents, there are 120 deaths from unintentional injury — the leading cause of which is drug overdose — far more than the state rate of 81 injury deaths per 100,000 Pennsylvania residents and the national rate of 67 injury deaths per 100,000 Americans.

SOURCE: “The Least Healthy City in Every State”24/7 Wall St.


  1. This needs to change right now! Nobody needs to do drugs to make themselves feel better. Think about your childhood. When you watched cartoons and ran all over the place to make you happy. Go back to that. It will also help with obesity. We will get better.

    • Substance abuse is difficult to manage. Even previous generations had their abuse challenges. Alcohol and drugs; no generation was immune.

      • But society did not coddle the addict it did not change to make life easier for the addict. A society that changes to make life easier for an addict is a society that has failed. We failed and even when that baby starved to death with her OD parents there if still wasn’t enough to wake people …. quit coddling them and do not give the an opiate to get off an opiate when methadone is easier to get addicted to, with draw is worse and it was not made to be on for years. No one does from being dope sick

  2. I believe you possess flawed or outdated data. Opioid related deaths in the City are down 73% whereas the surrounding areas which have Johnstown addresses are unchanged. Quit bashing my city and say something good this is an awesome place and not the shithole you would have everyone believe.

  3. If Pittsburgh and Philadelphia would quit using Johnstown as their hide out place… Things would probably be different!!!!

  4. Could it be the fact that, on average, there are shootings inside the city limits every couple of days (sometimes every day)? Could it be the fact that drug runners/drug dealers know that there will be no repercussion to their crimes because the police force, while they say that they’re tough on the drug problem, are so understaffed that they’re mediocre at best? Or could it be the fact that the infrastructure is nonexistent, jobs are nonexistent, and the city council is still stuck in the ‘good ol’ boys club’ mentality and is rife with corruption and nepotism? I have friends who work at Conemaugh’s ER who have had guns and knives pulled on them inside the ER, and nothing happens to them other than they’re escorted out of the building. On top of everything, Cambria County’s judicial system is laughable at best. Drug dealers, thieves feeding their addiction, you name it, will only get charged with a low misdemeanor and released on ‘time served’ (usually 1-3 months). The only time that tough sentences are handed down is when the bust makes the city police look good. You may have touched on the tip of the iceberg regarding problems in Johnstown, but believe me when I say that obesity is the lowest ranking problem in this city.

    • I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you but I am curious as to where you’re getting your information.
      Years ago, I would say the Cambria Co judiciary was as you say… but now. It’s even more so a hot mess. In the way that harsh sentences are the norm. Opening the door for lawsuits etc. Real criminals make a deal and walk or never make it to the courtroom.
      Recently Judge Bernstein separated her courtroom in half. Defendants who have been incarcerated before/ vs. those who haven’t. She sent the “incarcerated” half to jail without hearing their circumstances. Needless to say, resulting in a lawsuit to which the country lost.
      Great example of the “good ol boys club” mentality.
      I do however agree with the majority of your comment.
      If the drug dealers are getting lighter sentences, its because they are telling, or a crooked cop is taking advantage in one way or another, if you get what I’m saying.

  5. Me being an addict in RECOVERY that towns a joke I was born and raised and leaving there completely changed my life. It’s the best thing I could have done. Yes you take you with you but people, places and things was a Big Factor in my active addiction. I could be 3 hours fresh out of rehab and had people shit my own family offering me drugs smh. It’s just sad and I just hope and continue to always pray for the other addicts suffering and hope they can build up the courage to leave also.

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