Life Expectancy in the US by State

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.

Life Expectancy by State in the United States infographic

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Life Expectancy in the United States Transcript

State Life Expectancy
Alabama 75.65
Alaska 78.41
Arizona 79.58
Arkansas 76.18
California 80.82
Colorado 80.21
Connecticut 80.56
Delaware 78.72
D.C. 76.86
Florida 79.48
Georgia 77.38
Hawaii 81.15
Idaho 79.49
Illinois 79.02
Indiana 77.69
Iowa 79.73
Kansas 78.74
Kentucky 76.26
Louisiana 75.82
Maine 79.32
Maryland 79.16
Massachusetts 80.41
Michigan 78.26
Minnesota 80.90
Mississippi 74.91
Missouri 77.73
Montana 78.93
Nebraska 79.58
Nevada 78.11
New Hampshire 80.15
New Jersey 80.04
New Mexico 78.35
New York 80.36
North Carolina 77.86
North Dakota 79.95
Ohio 77.91
Oklahoma 76.09
Oregon 79.44
Pennsylvania 78.76
Rhode Island 79.76
South Carolina 76.89
South Dakota 79.57
Tennessee 76.33
Texas 78.54
Utah 79.91
Vermont 80.24
Virginia 79.18
Washington 79.99
West Virginia 76.03
Wisconsin 79.79
Wyoming 78.62

The life expectancy in the U.S. as a whole is 78.8 years, according to the CDC.

20 Counties With the Highest Life Expectancies

County Life Expectancy
Summit County, Colorado 86.83
Pitkin County, Colorado 86.52
Eagle County, Colorado 85.94
Billings County, North Dakota 84.04
Marin County, California 83.8
Aleutians East Borough, Alaska 83.73
Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska 83.73
San Miguel County, Colorado 83.73
Fairfax City, Virginia 83.73
Fairfax County, Virginia 83.73
Douglas County, Colorado 83.72
Presidio County, Texas 83.72
San Juan County, Washington 83.7
Hinsdale County, Colorado 83.66
Los Alamos County, New Mexico 83.49
Teton County, Wyoming 83.46
Collier County, Florida 83.43
Loudoun County, Virginia 83.19
Santa Clara County, California 83.14
San Mateo County, California 83.11

20 Counties With the Lowest Life Expectancies

County Life Expectancy
Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota 66.81
Union County, Florida 67.57
Todd County, South Dakota 68.51
Sioux County, North Dakota 68.59
Buffalo County, South Dakota 69.05
Owsley County, Kentucky 70.21
Breathitt County, Kentucky 70.22
McDowell County, West Virginia 70.27
Perry County, Kentucky 70.6
Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska 70.83
Tunica County, Mississippi 70.93
Holmes County, Mississippi 71.01
Dewey County, South Dakota 71.02
Coahoma County, Mississippi 71.14
Wolfe County, Kentucky 71.15
Leslie County, Kentucky 71.17
Roosevelt County, Montana 71.2
Phillips County, Arkansas 71.28
Mingo County, West Virginia 71.38
Harlan County, Kentucky 71.45


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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