Special Report

Cities With the Shortest Life Expectancy in Every State

1. Alabama
> Metro area:
Gadsden
> Life expectancy: 72.9 years
> Obesity rate: 33.8%
> Poverty rate: 18.4%

The average Alabama resident is expected to live for 75.2 years, the lowest life expectancy of any state other than Mississippi. Life expectancy is even shorter in Gadsden, where the average resident is expected to live for just 72.9 years — the lowest life expectancy of any metro area in the country. Unhealthy behaviors among Gadsden residents have likely contributed to its low life expectancy. Of all Gadsden adults, 26.0% smoke and 33.8% are obese, each higher than the national smoking rate of 20.0% and the national obesity rate of 27.0%.

2. Alaska
> Metro area:
Fairbanks
> Life expectancy: 77.8 years
> Obesity rate: 28.5%
> Poverty rate: 9.9%

There are two metro areas within Alaska’s state boundaries, Anchorage and Fairbanks. Of the two, Fairbanks’ life expectancy of 77.8 years is the lowest. Not surprisingly, Fairbanks also has higher inactivity and obesity rates than Anchorage. The 79.8% of Fairbanks adults who exercise regularly is the smallest such share in the state. Similarly, Fairbanks’ obesity rate of 28.5% is the highest in Alaska and higher than the 27.0% national obesity rate overall.

3. Arizona
> Metro area:
Lake Havasu City-Kingman
> Life expectancy: 75.7 years
> Obesity rate: 26.6%
> Poverty rate: 20.6%

Of Arizona’s seven metro areas, just two have lower life expectancies than the national average of 78.5 years. In Lake Havasu City-Kingman, the average resident is expected to live for just 75.7 years, the lowest life expectancy in the state. The area’s residents have comparatively unhealthy behaviors, which are likely a factor in the area’s low life expectancy. Of all Lake Havasu City-Kingman adults, 26.9% smoke, the fourth highest smoking rate of any metro area in the country. Similarly, just 69.3% of area adults exercise regularly, a smaller share than the 79.6% who do in Arizona as a whole.

4. Arkansas
> Metro area:
Pine Bluff
> Life expectancy: 74.5 years
> Obesity rate: 37.6%
> Poverty rate: 26.2%

The Pine Bluff metro area’s life expectancy at birth is just 74.5 years, the shortest among Arkansas urban areas and the 10th lowest in the nation. Unhealthy behaviors are a likely factor in Pine Bluff’s short life expectancy. Pine Bluff adults are among the least likely Americans to be physically active on a regular basis. Just 64.2% of the adult population exercises regularly compared to 69.5% of adults in Arkansas and 77.0% of Americans overall. Also, Pine Bluff’s obesity rate of 37.6% is the second highest of any metro area in the nation.

5. California
> Metro area:
Redding
> Life expectancy: 76.5 years
> Obesity rate: 27.3%
> Poverty rate: 13.8%

Life expectancy in California is 80.4 years, the fourth longest life expectancy of any state. In Redding, however, life expectancy is just 76.5 years, the lowest of any metro area in California and two years shorter than the national average. The shorter life expectancy in Redding may be partially due to relatively unhealthy behaviors among its residents. More than one-fourth of Redding adults smoke compared to the statewide smoking rate of 12.9%.

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