Life Expectancy in the US by State [Map Graphic]

Some counties top out at almost 87 years old!

Written by Carly Hallman

What is the average life expectancy today in the USA? Well, it largely depends on where you live. We’ve examined the average life expectancy in the US by state and by county, and the health divides can be pretty severe. Check out our map and life expectancy tables to find out which are the healthiest places to live in the US.

What is the life expectancy in the United States?

Today, a modern American can expect to live an average of 78.8 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or about 80 years, according to the CIA. While that average ranks the US much lower than other countries like Japan, Iceland, and Israel, we still rank above contemporaries like Denmark, Mexico, and China. For being a high-income country, the average life expectancy in the US is still fairly low, and scientists have been looking into why.

See Full-Size Infographic Map of Life Expectancy by State in the United States
Life Expectancy by State in the Unite States
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Outside of pollution and consumer behavior, one of the more popular explanations is that the United States is home to severe health disadvantages and inequities. Simply put, in the United States of America, life expectancy depends on where you live.

Which state has the lowest life expectancy?

That state is Mississippi, which has a life expectancy of 74.91 years. That’s nearly four years younger than the national average, and six years younger than Hawaii, the state with the highest life expectancy. Louisiana at 75.82 years and Alabama at 75.65 years are the other two lowest states. Looking at the data of average life expectancy in the US by state paints a different picture of life in the country as a whole, with certain areas having less access to healthcare and more overall health-based disadvantages.

What are the healthiest states in the US?

The state with the highest life expectancy is Hawaii, with a life expectancy of 81.15 years. California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, and many of the New England states have an expectancy of over 80 years old. Meanwhile, those states are often ranked for having the best healthcare systems.

Which county in the US has the best life expectancy?

If you look at data on US life expectancy by county, some communities have truly exceptionally high numbers. In Summit County, Colorado, the average life expectancy is a whopping 86.83 years, eight years more than the national average. It’s located on a mountain near Denver; perhaps it’s all the fresh air! Other Colorado communities like Piktin, Eagle, and San Miguel are doing well, too.

Which county has the worst life expectancy?

On the low end is Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, which has an expectancy of 66.81 years, nearly 12 years younger than the national average and 20 years younger than that of Summit County. This is possibly because it is also one of the poorest counties in the United States based on per-capita income. It’s also largely a Native American reservation. It’s been called “the deadliest county in the US,” but Union County in Florida is not much further behind as another of the poorest counties in the US.

It’s clear that once you examine American life expectancy by state and by county, there’s a fairly common theme: The poorest states, and the poorest counties, tend to have the least expected years of life in terms of averages. Hopefully, these divides can be lessened in upcoming years.

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