Special Report

The State Where People Live the Longest: A Ranking of all 50 States

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Life expectancy varies significantly from one state to another – by as much as nine years – in the U.S., shedding light on the complex factors influencing health and wellness. This significant discrepancy highlights troubling regional differences in health outcomes and healthcare accessibility, as well as income level in many cases and behavioral trends across the board.

To determine the states with the longest life expectancy (as well as the lowest), 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on longevity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on life expectancy at birth as of 2020, the most recent year for which data is available. Supplemental data on the percentage of adults over 18 who are obese (defined as having body mass index greater than or equal to 30) or current smokers, and the percentage of those who report no leisure-time physical activity, are from the 2023 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Data on median household income are one-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey

Click here to see the states with the longest life expectancy

Not surprisingly, states with lower life expectancies tend to have higher obesity rates. Mississippi, the state with the lowest life expectancy of all (71.9 years), has the highest obesity rate (39.9%). Conversely, Hawaii, which has the third lowest obesity rate, has the highest life expectancy. (These are the states where deaths are outpacing births.)

States with lower life expectancies also tend to have higher smoking rates as well as higher percentages of physically inactive adults and generally have lower median household incomes. (This is the income it takes to be middle class in America’s 50 largest cities.)

50. Mississippi
> Life expectancy at birth: 71.9 years
> Adult obesity rate: 39.9% (the highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 20.7% (4th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 28.9% (2nd highest)
> Median household income: $48,716 (the lowest)

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49. West Virginia
> Life expectancy at birth: 72.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 39.6% (2nd highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 24.0% (the highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 27.4% (7th highest)
> Median household income: $51,248 (2nd lowest)

48. Louisiana
> Life expectancy at birth: 73.1 years
> Adult obesity rate: 38.3% (4th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 18.9% (14th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 28.2% (4th highest)
> Median household income: $52,087 (3rd lowest)

47. Alabama
> Life expectancy at birth: 73.2 years
> Adult obesity rate: 39.3% (3rd highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 19.5% (9th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 27.8% (6th highest)
> Median household income: $53,913 (5th lowest)

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46. Kentucky
> Life expectancy at birth: 73.5 years
> Adult obesity rate: 37.0% (9th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 22.2% (2nd highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 29.3% (the highest)
> Median household income: $55,573 (7th lowest)

45. Arkansas
> Life expectancy at birth: 73.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 37.2% (5th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 21.6% (3rd highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 28.8% (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $52,528 (4th lowest)

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44. Tennessee
> Life expectancy at birth: 73.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 35.8% (12th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 19.7% (7th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 23.6% (18th highest)
> Median household income: $59,695 (10th lowest)

43. Oklahoma
> Life expectancy at birth: 74.1 years
> Adult obesity rate: 37.1% (8th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 19.6% (8th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 27.9% (5th highest)
> Median household income: $55,826 (8th lowest)

42. New Mexico
> Life expectancy at birth: 74.5 years
> Adult obesity rate: 31.7% (24th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 16.9% (22nd highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 22.5% (24th highest)
> Median household income: $53,992 (6th lowest)

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41. South Carolina
> Life expectancy at birth: 74.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 36.7% (10th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 19.1% (12th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 25.6% (9th highest)
> Median household income: $59,318 (9th lowest)

40. Indiana
> Life expectancy at birth: 75.0 years
> Adult obesity rate: 37.2% (5th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 20.2% (5th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 25.6% (9th highest)
> Median household income: $62,743 (14th lowest)

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39. Missouri
> Life expectancy at birth: 75.1 years
> Adult obesity rate: 34.2% (18th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 18.6% (15th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 24.9% (13th highest)
> Median household income: $61,847 (11th lowest)

38. Ohio
> Life expectancy at birth: 75.3 years
> Adult obesity rate: 35.8% (12th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 20.2% (5th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 23.5% (20th highest)
> Median household income: $62,262 (13th lowest)

37. Georgia
> Life expectancy at birth: 75.6 years
> Adult obesity rate: 34.3% (17th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 16.3% (25th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 24.5% (16th highest)
> Median household income: $66,559 (25th highest)

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36. Michigan
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.0 years
> Adult obesity rate: 35.3% (16th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 19.3% (11th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 20.2% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,498 (17th lowest)

35. North Carolina
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.1 years
> Adult obesity rate: 33.6% (20th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 17.0% (21st highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.9% (25th highest)
> Median household income: $61,972 (12th lowest)

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34. Arizona
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.3 years
> Adult obesity rate: 31.5% (22nd lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 13.7% (14th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.6% (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $69,056 (20th highest)

33. Nevada
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.3 years
> Adult obesity rate: 28.1% (8th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.1% (17th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 24.9% (13th highest)
> Median household income: $66,274 (23rd lowest)

32. Wyoming
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.3 years
> Adult obesity rate: 30.6% (18th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 19.4% (10th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.6% (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $65,204 (20th lowest)

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31. Kansas
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.4 years
> Adult obesity rate: 35.8% (12th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 17.2% (20th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.4% (22nd lowest)
> Median household income: $64,124 (18th lowest)

30. Texas
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.5 years
> Adult obesity rate: 35.8% (12th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 13.3% (12th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 25.4% (11th highest)
> Median household income: $66,963 (23rd highest)

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29. Alaska
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.6 years
> Adult obesity rate: 31.8% (25th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 18.0% (16th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.1% (21st lowest)
> Median household income: $77,845 (12th highest)

28. Delaware
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.7 years
> Adult obesity rate: 36.2% (11th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 15.8% (24th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 23.6% (18th highest)
> Median household income: $71,091 (19th highest)

27. South Dakota
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.7 years
> Adult obesity rate: 33.4% (22nd highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 19.0% (13th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.6% (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $66,143 (22nd lowest)

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26. Illinois
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 32.5% (24th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 12.8% (11th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 24.4% (17th highest)
> Median household income: $72,205 (17th highest)

25. Maryland
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 30.9% (19th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 11.1% (4th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 20.6% (18th lowest)
> Median household income: $90,203 (the highest)

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24. Montana
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 28.9% (11th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 17.5% (19th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 18.0% (6th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,249 (16th lowest)

23. Pennsylvania
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 31.6% (23rd lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 16.7% (24th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 23.4% (21st highest)
> Median household income: $68,957 (21st highest)

22. North Dakota
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.9 years
> Adult obesity rate: 33.6% (20th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 17.9% (18th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 24.6% (15th highest)
> Median household income: $66,519 (25th lowest)

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21. Florida
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.5 years
> Adult obesity rate: 28.3% (10th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 15.5% (23rd lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 25.8% (8th highest)
> Median household income: $63,062 (15th lowest)

20. Iowa
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.5 years
> Adult obesity rate: 37.2% (5th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 16.8% (23rd highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 22.7% (23rd highest)
> Median household income: $65,600 (21st lowest)

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19. New Jersey
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.5 years
> Adult obesity rate: 27.7% (6th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 11.1% (4th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 20.2% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $89,296 (3rd highest)

18. Virginia
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.6 years
> Adult obesity rate: 32.4% (25th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 13.9% (15th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 20.4% (17th lowest)
> Median household income: $80,963 (10th highest)

17. Nebraska
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.7 years
> Adult obesity rate: 34.0% (19th highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.5% (21st lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.0% (19th lowest)
> Median household income: $66,817 (24th highest)

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16. New York
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.7 years
> Adult obesity rate: 26.5% (5th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 12.3% (8th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 25.2% (12th highest)
> Median household income: $74,314 (14th highest)

15. Wisconsin
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.7 years
> Adult obesity rate: 32.7% (23rd highest)
> Adult smoking rate: 16.1% (25th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 19.8% (13th lowest)
> Median household income: $67,125 (22nd highest)

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14. Maine
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 31.3% (21st lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 18.0% (16th highest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 19.7% (12th lowest)
> Median household income: $64,767 (19th lowest)

13. Rhode Island
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.2 years
> Adult obesity rate: 30.6% (18th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.1% (17th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 22.9% (22nd highest)
> Median household income: $74,008 (15th highest)

12. Colorado
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.3 years
> Adult obesity rate: 24.2% (the lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 12.6% (10th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 16.5% (2nd lowest)
> Median household income: $82,254 (9th highest)

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11. Connecticut
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.4 years
> Adult obesity rate: 29.5% (13th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 12.6% (10th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 20.2% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $83,771 (8th highest)

10. Idaho
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.4 years
> Adult obesity rate: 31.3% (21st lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.2% (18th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 19.7% (12th lowest)
> Median household income: $66,474 (24th lowest)

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9. Utah
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.6 years
> Adult obesity rate: 29.3% (12th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 8.3% (the lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 16.3% (the lowest)
> Median household income: $79,449 (11th highest)

8. Oregon
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 28.3% (10th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 13.6% (13th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 17.6% (5th lowest)
> Median household income: $71,562 (18th highest)

7. Vermont
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.8 years
> Adult obesity rate: 26.3% (4th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.4% (20th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 17.1% (3rd lowest)
> Median household income: $72,431 (16th highest)

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6. California
> Life expectancy at birth: 79.0 years
> Adult obesity rate: 30.2% (14th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 9.0% (2nd lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 21.1% (21st lowest)
> Median household income: $84,907 (5th highest)

5. Massachusetts
> Life expectancy at birth: 79.0 years
> Adult obesity rate: 24.5% (2nd lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 11.4% (5th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 19.4% (10th lowest)
> Median household income: $89,645 (2nd highest)

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4. New Hampshire
> Life expectancy at birth: 79.0 years
> Adult obesity rate: 30.5% (15th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.7% (22nd lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 18.6% (8th lowest)
> Median household income: $88,465 (4th highest)

3. Minnesota
> Life expectancy at birth: 79.1 years
> Adult obesity rate: 30.6% (18th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 14.3% (19th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 18.7% (9th lowest)
> Median household income: $77,720 (13th highest)

2. Washington
> Life expectancy at birth: 79.2 years
> Adult obesity rate: 28.0% (7th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 11.6% (6th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 17.5% (4th lowest)
> Median household income: $84,247 (7th highest)

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1. Hawaii
> Life expectancy at birth: 80.7 years
> Adult obesity rate: 25.0% (3rd lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 12.2% (7th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 18.4% (7th lowest)
> Median household income: $84,857 (6th highest)

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