States Where People Live the Longest

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5. New York
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.5 years
> Life expectancy at birth in 1980: 73.2 years (17th lowest)
> 1980-2015 life expectancy change: 7.3 years (the largest)

As is often the case in states with high life expectancies, measures such as New York’s relatively low obesity rate and high college attainment rate reflect healthy lifestyles and advantages that support longer lives. One in four state adults are obese, versus approximately one in three adults nationwide. The percentage of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree of 36% is 10th highest of all states.

New York’s life expectancy at birth rose by over seven years between 1980 and 2015, the largest improvement in the nation. To the extent that economic status relates to life expectancy, however, the gains in life expectancy are not enjoyed equally across the state. New York is the nation’s most unequal state, with incomes at the 20th percentile nearly six times greater than the incomes at the 80th.

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4. Connecticut
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.8 years
> Life expectancy at birth in 1980: 74.9 years (14th highest)
> 1980-2015 life expectancy change: 6.0 years (6th largest)

Connecticut has the highest concentration of primary doctors, dentists, and mental health providers per 100,000 people. The state has fourth lowest adult smoking rate as well as among the lowest shares of adults who report being in poor health.

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3. Minnesota
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.8 years
> Life expectancy at birth in 1980: 76.0 years (2nd highest)
> 1980-2015 life expectancy change: 4.8 years (24th largest)

Minnesota has been in the top three states for life expectancy since at least the 1980s. Socioeconomic factors, such as the fourth lowest poverty rate in the country and the lowest share of households living on less than $10,000 a year, may help explain this. The state also has the third lowest share of uninsured people, at only 4.4% compared to a national share of 8.7%.

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2. California
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.9 years
> Life expectancy at birth in 1980: 74.3 years (20th highest)
> 1980-2015 life expectancy change: 6.6 years (3rd largest)

Residents of California have significantly improved their lifestyle, improving average life expectancy in the state significantly, and jumping from the 20th position in 1980 to second in 2015. The Golden State has the third lowest share of obese adults, the fifth lowest share of adults who do not exercise, and the second lowest share of adults who smoke. Also, 268.8 people under age 75 die per 100,000 people every year, the third lowest premature mortality rate and well below the national rate of 336.4 per 100,000.

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1. Hawaii
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 81.3 years
> Life expectancy at birth in 1980: 76.8 years (the highest)
> 1980-2015 life expectancy change: 4.5 years (23rd smallest)

Hawaii continues to be the state with the longest life expectancy year after year. The Aloha State has the second lowest obesity rate in the country, the third lowest smoking rate, and the among the primary care doctors and dentists per capita.

The state has the second lowest share of residents with no health insurance, which may explain why are only 23.3 preventable hospitalizations per 100,000 people, the lowest preventable hospitalization of all states.