Khongoryn Els-Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Both a literal, and food desert
Khongoryn Els-Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Both a literal and food desert.
Pablo Pecora

Food deserts are officially defined as low-income neighborhoods far away (a mile or more) from grocery stores. But distance, as the crow flies, isn’t that relevant, since only a few mutants and drone pilots navigate their cities that way. What actually matters is the time it takes to walk to the grocery store. The website Walk Score has the data to account for the hills and railroads and warehouses that separate you from food, and it has used that information to rank U.S. cities by food access.

Compare the difference between New York, where 72 percent of people live just five minutes away from a grocery store …

Click for the interactive mapClick for the interactive map.

… and Tuscon, where only 6 percent of the population has such easy access:

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 12.42.03 PMClick for the interactive map.

Seattle is somewhere in between:

click for interactive map
Click for interactive map.

City planners already use the Walk Score data to find their food deserts. (For more on why food deserts exist, and how people are addressing the problem, check this out.) You can play with the interactive maps for the top- and bottom-ranked cities here. If your city isn’t there, you can always zoom right in on your house (and prove that you live in a pizza desert) at Walk Score’s main site.

Here’s the complete ranking of big U.S. cities by percentage of residents within a five-minute walk to food access:

  1. New York 72 percent
  2. San Francisco 59 percent
  3. Philadelphia 57 percent
  4. Miami 49 percent
  5. Oakland 49 percent
  6. Boston 45 percent
  7. Washington, D.C. 41 percent
  8. Chicago 41 percent
  9. Baltimore 41 percent
  10. Long Beach 41 percent
  11. Los Angeles 36 percent
  12. Seattle 31 percent
  13. Portland 29 percent
  14. Milwaukee 29 percent
  15. Minneapolis 29 percent
  16. Cleveland 25 percent
  17. San Diego 21 percent
  18. Detroit 19 percent
  19. San Jose 17 percent
  20. Denver 17 percent
  21. Fresno 17 percent
  22. Houston 15 percent
  23. Sacramento 15 percent
  24. Atlanta 15 percent
  25. Columbus 14 percent
  26. Dallas 13 percent
  27. Bakersfield 13 percent
  28. Memphis 11 percent
  29. Austin 10 percent
  30. Las Vegas 10 percent
  31. Phoenix 9 percent
  32. San Antonio 9 percent
  33. Nashville-Davidson 9 percent
  34. Louisville-Jefferson 9 percent
  35. Jacksonville 8 percent
  36. Fort Worth 8 percent
  37. El Paso 8 percent
  38. Arlington 8 percent
  39. Virginia Beach 7 percent
  40. Omaha 7 percent
  41. Tulsa 7 percent
  42. Albuquerque 7 percent
  43. Charlotte 6 percent
  44. Tucson 6 percent
  45. Kansas City 6 percent
  46. Mesa 6 percent
  47. Colorado Springs 6 percent
  48. Raleigh 6 percent
  49. Oklahoma City 5 percent
  50. Indianapolis 5 percent
  51. Wichita 5 percent