Before Covid struck the U.S. (and the world), there was a shockingly large range of life expectancy in this country. Beyond the typical factors — gender, genetic history, behavior (drinking, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity) — another important detail is location. Where you live is apparently consequential to the average resident’s lifespan:
“Among the 50 states and D.C., Hawaii had the highest life expectancy at birth, 80.9 years in 2019, and Mississippi had the lowest, 74.4 years. Life expectancy at age 65 ranged from 17.5 years in Mississippi to 21.2 years in Hawaii. Life expectancy at birth was higher for females in all states and D.C. The difference in life expectancy between females and males ranged from 3.5 years in Utah to 6.4 years in Mississippi.”
There are other details that might surprise you. Difference between male and female life expectancy at birth by state. In Mississippi, New Mexico and Alabama, women live 6.4, 6.2, and 6.0 years longer than men respectively. In Utah, Idaho, and Alaska the gap is only 3.5 years, 4.0, and 4.1 years. The national average shows women live an average of 5.1 years more than men do.
Also surprising: U.S. life expectancy pre-Covid averaged 78.8 years; it ranged from a low of 71.2 years for a male in Mississippi to a high of 83.9 years for a female in Hawaii. That is more than a 12-year difference between the two.
U.S. State Life Tables, 2019
by Elizabeth Arias, Ph.D., Jiaquan Xu, M.D., Betzaida Tejada-Vera, M.S., and Brigham Bastian, B.S.,
National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 70, Number 18 February 10, 2022