Lifespans in U.S.A. States Ranked From Longest to Shortest

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Does living in a certain state have a direct effect on your lifespan? According to data from Measure of America's 2013-2014 Human Development study, citizens of different states have very differing average life expectancies, ranging from 75 to over 81 years.

Longest-Living States:

1. Hawaii - 81.48 years

2. Minnesota - 80.85 years

3. Connecticut - 80.8 years

4. California - 80.8 years

5. Massachusetts - 80.5 years

6. New York - 81.5 years

7. Vermont - 80.5 years

8. New Hampshire - 80.3 years

9. New Jersey - 80.3 years

10. Utah - 80.2 years

Shortest-Living States:

41. Georgia - 77.2 years

42. South Carolina - 77 years

43. Tennessee - 76.3 years

44. Kentucky - 76.0 years

45. Arkansas - 76.0 years

46. Oklahoma - 75.9 years

47. Louisiana - 75.7 years

48. Alabama - 75.4 years

49. West Virginia - 75.4 years

50. Mississippi - 75.0 years

As you can tell, the geographical locations of the "longest-living" and "shortest-living states" seem to form a pattern. The longest-living states are scattered across the country (but mostly residing within the New England area), with the shortest-living states bunched up together in the Southeast. While there are many ways to speculate the reason for a shorter or longer lifespan in any given area, that data does correlate relatively well with the average household income, by state.

According to 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data, eight of ten of the shortest-living states are also within the bottom ten of average household income (Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina) and six of the ten longest-living states scored within the top ten of average household income (New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Hawaii, California).

Here's a map of the top and bottom-scoring states, denoting each state's average life expectancy in years.

What do you think of these results? Let us know in the comments below.