Here's How Long You Will Live Based on Your State

September 16th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Here's another thing to consider when deciding where to live: mortality. Specifically, you might want to check out the average life expectancy of your state, because it varies by as much as five years.


A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association highlighted this point. Life expectancies vary starkly from state to state, particularly for low-income Americans, and the situation doesn't seem to be improving, researchers found. Average life expectancy for low-income Americans didn't budge from 2001 to 2014, but those in the top 5 percent gained three years.

This map shows the average life expectancy of each state.


It's worth noting that America as a whole struggles with life expectancy. The U.S. comes in 43rd place on a list of countries with the highest averages — behind the vast majority of industrialized countries. But some states nevertheless fare much worse than others, as the map above illustrates.


There's not a single factor behind the trend, but experts point out that states with low life expectancy also have high rates of smoking, which is the leading cause of preventable death in America. A lack of exercise could also be to blame, USA Today reported: In Mississippi, 35 percent of the population doesn't regularly exercise.

For low-income Americans, other factors may be at play.

Baltimore poverty

That includes gaps in the amount of financial assistance money individuals receive. Annual assistance for low-income Americans ranged from about $2,000 to $5,800, a 2016 report from the University of Wisconsin's Institute for Research on Poverty revealed.

"A couple of thousand dollars to a poor family means a lot more than a couple of thousand dollars to a rich family," researcher Sarah Bruch told Quartz. "Given that these programs are for poor families, having differences of a couple of thousand dollars is huge."

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