State Watch

These parts of US are where Americans live longest and shortest

Residents of nine mostly Western and Northeastern states were expected to live more than 80 years in 2019, while those born in two Southern states have a life expectancy of less than 75 years at birth, according to new government data released Thursday.

The National Center for Health Statistics data, shows signs that life expectancies had begun to plateau or even fall in many states across the country, a phenomenon demographers attribute to an opioid crisis that existed before the coronavirus emerged and has likely only gotten worse.

Americans born in Hawaii and California live the longest, according to the federal data, an average of 80.9 years each. They are followed by those in New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington and Colorado, where the median person lives more than 80 years.

The median life expectancy for those born in Southern states, historically poorer than their northern neighbors, is far lower than the national average. Those born in West Virginia and Mississippi are expected to live less than 75 years. Residents of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama all live less than 76 years on average.

Women tend to live longer than men, and women’s life expectancy is now north of 80 years old in more than two-thirds of states. The median man’s life expectancy is lower than 79 years old in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The average gap between a man’s life expectancy and a woman’s is highest in Mississippi, New Mexico and Alabama, where women live six or more years longer than men. It is closest to parity in Utah, Idaho and Alaska, where the population is younger, hinting at longer life expectancies for those born more recently in the years ahead.

The data shows American life expectancy in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 900,000 Americans. Recent data have shown the first substantial drop in Americans’ life expectancy over a sustained period in a century, dating back to the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Fourteen states recorded a decline in life expectancy between 2018 and 2019. Residents of both North and South Dakota lost half a year of life, and averages dropped by about a third of a year in Wyoming, Alaska, Maine, Montana, New Mexico and Rhode Island.

Tags Alabama California CDC Georgia Hawaii Health care Kentucky life expectancy Maine Mississippi New York Tennessee Washington West Virginia

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