Life expectancy in the US by state: In which parts of the country do people live the longest?
The average age of death varies hugely across the United States, with figures reflecting the social, economic and racial composition of the country.
Data published by the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that, in certain parts of the United States, life expectancy figures have begun to plateau or even fall in a number of states. The figures are taken from 2019, to avoid the influence of the pandemic, but it is thought that the opioid crisis is a key contributor to the worrying trend.
Demographers found that nine mostly Western and Northeastern states had a life expectancy of more than 80 in 2019, while residents in eight Southern states were expected to live less than 76 years.
Researches find huge differences across the country
Such disparity between states is a major cause for concern and one which highlights the socio-economic imbalance in the US. The median life expectancy in the historically poorer Southern states is far below the national average, with residents in West Virginia and Mississippi expected to live less than 75 years.
Beyond the north-south split, there are major difference between different groups. Native American and Alaska Native populations saw no increase in life expectancy in the 20 years leading up to 2019. The median life expectancy in those groups was just 73.1 years, close to six years less than the average White American.
In terms of race, Asian/Pacific Islander populations lived the longest (85.7 years). Hispanic populations recorded an average life expectancy of 82.2 year, while White people lived for 78.9 years on average. The life expectancy for Black Americans is 75.3 years; a 3.9-year gain in the past two decades but still 3.6 years less than White Americans.
US states by life expectancy
This data for 2019 was made public by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figures refer to the median life expectancy for residents of each state.