Despite declining in each of the past two years, American life expectancy has improved significantly over the past several decades. The typical U.S. resident born today can expect to live 78.6 years, approximately five years longer than in 1980. While health outcomes have largely improved nationwide, some parts of the country are still stuck in the past, with life expectancy below 75 in some metropolitan areas.
Health behaviors and outcomes vary significantly throughout the United States. Many of the metropolitan-level health disparities parallel disparities in income and are affected by other environmental factors such as violent crime, the quality of schools, and access to fresh, healthy food.
To determine the least healthy city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index composed of 35 health outcomes and health factors with data from the 2018 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a joint program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. In four states — Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont — the lone metro area was listed as the least healthy by default.