Special Report

Cities With the Shortest Life Expectancy in Every State

16. Kansas
> Metro area:
Wichita
> Life expectancy: 77.7 years
> Obesity rate: 30.2%
> Poverty rate: 13.9%

The Wichita metro area’s life expectancy of just 77.7 years is the shortest among Kansas’s four metro areas. Relatively unhealthy behaviors in Wichita may contribute to its shorter life expectancy. Just 75.1% of adult residents regularly exercise, the lowest such share in the state. Health insurance, which allows better access to medical care and ultimately leads to better health outcomes, is comparatively sparse in Wichita. Of all area adults, 88.4% have health insurance — the lowest insurance coverage rate of any Kansas metro area.

17. Kentucky
> Metro area:
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox
> Life expectancy: 76.4 years
> Obesity rate: 31.8%
> Poverty rate: 13.3%

The average Kentucky resident is expected to live just 75.7 years, the sixth lowest life expectancy of any state. Of the state’s urban areas, Elizabeth-Fort Knox’s 76.4 year life expectancy is the lowest. As in most cities with the lowest life expectancies, Elizabethtown-Fort Knox metro area residents are generally more likely than most Americans to smoke, be obese, and be physically inactive. Of the metro area’s adult population, 26.8% smoke, 31.8% are obese, and just 70.6% exercise regularly. This is compared to the respective 20.0% national smoking rate, 27.0% obesity rate, and 77.0% physical activity rate.

18. Louisiana
> Metro area:
Hammond
> Life expectancy: 73.9 years
> Obesity rate: 37.4%
> Poverty rate: 21.6%

The average life expectancy in Louisiana is just 75.4 years, the fourth lowest of any state. Of the state’s urban areas, Hammond has the shortest life expectancy of just 73.9 years, the fifth lowest of any metro area in the country. Like most cities with the lowest life expectancy, the Hammond metro area has a high obesity rate. Of Hammond’s adult population, 37.4% are obese — the highest obesity rate in Louisiana and the third highest of any U.S. metro area.

19. Maine
> Metro area:
Bangor
> Life expectancy: 77.8 years
> Obesity rate: 31.7%
> Poverty rate: 19.0%

The average Bangor resident is expected to live for just 77.8 years, the shortest life expectancy of any metro area in Maine. As in most cities with the lowest life expectancies, Bangor metro area residents are generally more likely than most Americans to smoke, be obese, and be physically inactive. Poverty is a major factor contributing to poor health, and Bangor metro area residents are quite poor. The poverty rate in Bangor of 19.0% is the highest in Maine and higher than the national poverty rate of 15.5%.

20. Maryland
> Metro area:
Cumberland
> Life expectancy: 76.8 years
> Obesity rate: 29.9%
> Poverty rate: 17.8%

The average Cumberland resident is expected to live for 76.8 years, the shortest life expectancy of any metro area in Maryland. Wealth, or lack thereof, may have contributed to Cumberland’s relatively low life expectancy. The typical household in Cumberland makes $38,580 a year, far lower than the state’s $73,971 median annual household income. The metro area also has the highest poverty rate in Maryland. Nearly 18% of Cumberland residents live below the poverty line compared to the 10% poverty rate in Maryland overall.

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