After declining for several years, life expectancy in the U.S. is beginning to level off. An American born in 2020 has an average life expectancy of 79.1 years — but this can vary widely from place to place across the country.
Most rural areas actually have a lower 2020 life expectancy than a decade earlier. Yet in cities, where people have better access to health care and high-paying jobs, life expectancy is relatively high. In fact, in many cities, people can expect to live well into their 80s.
To determine the cities where people live the longest, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on life expectancy in U.S. metropolitan areas from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Of the 40 American major metro areas where people live the longest, the majority, 23, are in the western part of the country — including a dozen metro areas in California. The only other state with more than two metro areas on this list is Florida, with four.
In the vast majority of the metro areas on this list, residents tend to be wealthy. Of the 40 metro areas, 28 have median annual household incomes higher than the U.S. median income of $65,712. These relatively high incomes allow residents to afford high quality health care, while lower incomes can hinder access to quality health care and nutritious diets. These are the cities with the lowest poverty rates.