Map reveals your life expectancy depending on the state you live in
- Life expectancy data from 2019 showed a national average of 78.8 years.
- Hawaii had the highest life expectancy, at 80.9, and Mississippi had the lowest at 74.4.
- Most of the states with lower life expectancies were located in the South and had higher poverty rates.
A National Vital Statistics Report published Thursday captured a six-year gap in life expectancy between states with the highest and lowest estimates at birth.
Based on data collected in 2019, Hawaii had the highest average life expectancy: 80.9 years. On the lower end, Mississippians born in 2019 could expect to live an average of 74.4 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The national average life expectancy for 2019 was 78.8 — just a fraction of a point up from 2018. Since the center collected these data on the eve of the pandemic, the effects of COVID-19 on life expectancy statistics have yet to be documented.
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Here’s how the states stacked up in 2019:
Longest-living states tend to be financially well-off
Hawaii’s impressive life expectancy is tied to more than just surf and sand. The state also has one of the higher median household incomes, after the District of Columbia, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Life expectancy and socioeconomic status tend to follow similar geographic patterns, Elizabeth Arias, the lead author of the CDC report, told NBC.
“Really well-to-do areas had really high life expectancies,” she told the outlet, noting that just nine percent of Hawaii residents lived below the poverty line in 2019.
The maps don’t line up exactly, but many of the wealthier states had relatively high average life expectancies in the 2019 report and past analyses.
The states with the highest life expectancies after Hawaii were California, New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington state, Colorado and Vermont. With the exception of Vermont, these states’ median incomes were between $5,000 to $15,000 higher than the national average in 2019.
Southern states had some of the lower life expectancies
Most of the states with the lowest average life expectancies were located in the South, according to the 2019 report.
West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Ohio made up the lowest percentile along with Mississippi.
Many of those states had relatively high percentages of residents living before the national poverty line. NBC reported that Mississippi had the largest portion of people in poverty in 2019: 19.5 percent, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Smoking tobacco is also more prevalent in the South, ABC reported. The South and the Midwest have higher rates of obesity than other regions in the US, according to the CDC, as well as poorer access to healthcare in some southern states. Mississippi, Tennesseee, and Oklahoma have some of the higher uninsured rates in the country, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts.
While Mississippi had the lowest life expectancy across populations, West Virginia had the lowest average for women: 77.3 years. However, the report found life expectancy was higher for women in every single state and in Washington, D.C.