Special Report

Cities With the Longest Life Expectancy in Every State

1. Alabama
> Metro area:
> Life expectancy: 77.7 years
> Obesity rate: 25.0%
> Poverty rate: 12.7%

Alabama is not a particularly healthy state. In none of Alabama’s 12 metro areas are residents expected to live longer than the 78.5 year national average life expectancy. Residents of Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, however, are expected to get the closest, with a life expectancy of 77.7 years. Longevity often coincides with wealth and higher educational attainment. Not surprisingly, 89.0% of Daphne-Fairhope-Foley adult residents have at least a high school diploma, the highest share of any Alabama metro area. Similarly, a typical household in the metro area makes $48,461 a year, a higher median household income than in any Alabama metro other than Huntsville.

2. Alaska
> Metro area:
> Life expectancy: 77.9 years
> Obesity rate: 27.5%
> Poverty rate: 9.9%

An average Anchorage metro area resident is expected to live 77.9 years, slightly lower than the 78.5 years expected for the average American. The city’s poverty rate of 9.9% is significantly lower than the 15.5% national poverty rate, as well as Alaska’s poverty rate of 11.2%, itself one of the lowest compared with other states. There is a monetary cost to a range of health-related items — from healthy food to exercise facility access to medical attention — and the lower poverty rate has likely helped improve health outcomes. Additionally, 81% of area residents are physically active, higher than both the state and national shares of active residents.

3. Arizona
> Metro area:
> Life expectancy: 79.9 years
> Obesity rate: 23.3%
> Poverty rate: 17.2%

Phoenix area residents are among the least likely Americans to smoke or be obese. Just 16.2% are smokers, and just 23.3% are considered obese. By comparison, the national smoking and obesity rates were 20.0% and 27.0%, respectively. An average Arizona resident can expect to live 79.3 years, longer than the national average of 78.5 years — and residents of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area are expected to live longer still. A typical metro area resident is expected to live 79.9 years, among the longest life expectancies in the country.

4. Arkansas
> Metro area:
> Life expectancy: 78.2 years
> Obesity rate: 28.4%
> Poverty rate: 16.2%

Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metro area residents are among the least likely Americans to be physically active on a regular basis. More than 25% metro residents do not exercise regularly, compared to 23% of Americans. As a whole, Arkansas is not a particularly healthy state. None of the six metro areas in the state have life expectancies longer than the 78.5 year national average. However, the Fayetteville metro area’s life expectancy of 78.2 years is more than 2.5 years longer than the statewide average.

5. California
> Metro area:
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
> Life expectancy: 82.7 years
> Obesity rate: 20.5%
> Poverty rate: 8.7%

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara residents are more likely than most Americans to abstain from smoking and less likely to be obese. The city’s smoking and obesity rates of 10.3% and 20.5% are substantially below the respective national levels, at 20.0% and 27.0%. The city’s poverty rate of 8.7% is nearly half the statewide poverty rate. Poverty is frequently a barrier to healthy living, and the lower poverty rate in the San Jose area has likely helped improve health outcomes. Perhaps as a result, an average San Jose area resident can expect to live 82.7 years, the longest average life expectancy at birth of any metro area in the country.

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