Wanna Grow Old? You May Want to Move to One of These States

A new report details which states have the highest (and lowest) life expectancies, and what contributing factors affect how old a state’s residents live to be.

Wanna Grow Old? You May Want to Move to One of These States Photo (cc) by Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.” If you want to live a long life, like the one described in Robert Browning’s poetry, you may want to consider moving to a state where people live the longest.

A new report by 24/7 Wall St. reveals that although the U.S. significantly lags behind other developed nations, like Switzerland and Japan, when it comes to life expectancy, there are several states that have an average life expectancy of more than 80 years. 24/7 Wall St. said:

Across the United States, the age-adjusted mortality rate was 732.8 deaths per 100,000 people in 2012. However, in eight of the states with the highest life expectancies, the mortality rate was less than 700 deaths for every 100,000 residents. In Hawaii, the age-adjusted mortality rate was just 586.5 per 100,000, the lowest in the country.

Access to health insurance, low poverty rates and healthy habits, such as being active, eating healthy and not smoking, contribute to higher life expectancies, 24/7 Wall St. said.

Americans live the longest in these 10 states, according to the report. Here are the top five:

  1. Hawaii — life expectancy of 81.3 years. Hawaii has low obesity and smoking rates, as well as a low rate of preventable hospitalizations. Combine that with a high rate of insured residents, and residents of Hawaii live the longest out of all 50 states.
  2. Minnesota — 81.1 years. Although Minnesota has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in the U.S., it has low rates of obesity and drug-related deaths, and most residents are insured.
  3. California — 80.8 years. Residents of California are the least likely of all Americans to light up a cigarette or be overweight. They also tend to be more physically active than the average American.
  4. Connecticut — 80.8 years. Connecticut has a low obesity rate and poverty rate, as well as one of the best immunization rates in the U.S.
  5. Massachusetts — 80.5 years. Massachusetts had the lowest uninsured rate, at just 3.7 percent, in 2013. It also had the “highest concentration of general practitioners and dentists of any state,” 24/7 Wall St. said.

The five states with the lowest life expectancies are primarily located in the South.

  1. Mississippi — 75 years. Mississippians struggle with poverty, obesity and poor health behaviors.
  2. Alabama — 75.4 years. “Poor health outcomes, such as the nation’s highest rates of diabetes and cardiovascular deaths, contributed to the high level of years of life lost prematurely” in Alabama, 24/7 Wall St. said.
  3. West Virginia — 75.4 years. Obesity, smoking, preventable Medicare hospitalizations and the highest rate of drug-related deaths helped push down West Virginians’ life expectancy.
  4. Louisiana — 75.7 years. Louisiana nearly tops the charts when it comes to poverty, smoking, obesity and inactivity, all factors that lead to a lower life expectancy.
  5. Oklahoma — 75.9 years. Not only does Oklahoma have one of the worst uninsured rates (18 percent) in the country, it also has “comparatively few general physicians taking care of the population and encouraging people to be healthy,” 24/7 Wall St. noted.

Did your state show up on either the highest or lowest life expectancy list? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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