Fitness Nutrition Forums

The U.S. States With the Highest and Lowest Life Expectancies

You might be surprised to find out how your home state ranks when it comes to living a longer life!

Believe it or not, residents in some U.S. states have higher (and lower) life expectancies than the U.S. averages. There are several reasons for this — such as climate, education level, and lifestyle habits just to name a few. Knowing which states have the highest and lowest life expectancies may help you decide which area you’d like to live in!

U.S. Life Expectancy Averages

Among 224 countries listed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. comes in at number 43 in the category of longest life expectancy — with an average age of 80 years old. At the top of the list is Monaco, with a life expectancy of 89.4 years of for residents living there. Compared to the U.S. average life expectancy of 80, you might be surprised to see how the state you’re living in measures up.

U.S. States with Highest Life Expectancies

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in 2018, which examined highest and lowest life expectancies in different U.S. states. Researchers found the following states ranked at the top:

1. Hawaii, 81.3

2. California, 80.9

3. Connecticut and Minnesota, 80.8

4. New York, 80.5

5. Massachusetts, 80.4

6. Colorado, New Jersey and Washington, 80.2

7. Vermont, 79.9

U.S. States with Lowest Life Expectancies

In contrast, researchers who conducted the JAMA study found the following states ranked lowest in terms of life expectancy:

1. Mississippi, 74.7

2. West Virginia, 75.3

3. Alabama, 75.4

4. Louisiana, 75.6

5. Oklahoma, 75.7

6. Kentucky and Arkansas, 75.8

7. Tennessee, 76.1

8. South Carolina, 76.8

9. Indiana, 77.2

Why Do Life Expectancies Vary?

Chronic diseases contribute to leading causes of death in the U.S., and the JAMA study says top risk factors are high body mass index (BMI), high blood sugar, and smoking. Hawaii and California, which are states with the longest life expectancies in the U.S., are both warmer-climate states. That means residents may spend more time outdoors being active than residents in colder-climate states. Increased drug use, poor diet, and alcohol disorders play roles in lower life expectancies in states with poor rankings.

U.S. Leading Causes of Death

Do what you can do avoid death risk factors and boost life expectancy — regardless of which state you live in. The top causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are as follows:

1. Heart disease

2. Cancer

3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases

4. Accidents

5. Stroke

6. Alzheimer’s disease

7. Diabetes

8. Pneumonia and influenza

9. Nephritis, nephrosis, and nephrotic syndrome

10. Self-harm (suicide)

Take prevention steps — such as getting regular exercise, eating right, getting plenty of sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking — to significantly boost your odds of a longer life!

[Images via Shutterstock]

{{ oArticle.title }}

{{ oArticle.subtitle }}