Skip to main content

Main Area


States where people live the longest

  • States where people live the longest

    The average life expectancy in the United States is 79.68 years, with women generally having a longer life expectancy. In 2012, the average life expectancy for men was 76.4 years, while the average for women was 81.2 years. Most gaps in life expectancy can be explained by the risk factors that people engage in. The disparity between men and women, for example, is because women tend to engage in less-risky behavior than men, and suffer fewer vehicular accidents.

    People living in the southern United States are more likely to be smokers, which is a leading cause of death. A 2016 American Cancer Society study found that cigarettes contribute to one in four cancer deaths in the country. Most of the 10 states with the highest attributable cancer deaths were located in the south, which explains why many of the states with the lowest life expectancies can also be found across the region.

    The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation developed a list of life expectancy at birth for men and women using data from 2009 Measure of America calculations, which utilized mortality counts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. Using this information, Stacker ranked each state according to average life expectancy, from lowest to highest.

    Read on to learn the average life expectancy in your state.

    RELATED: Healthiest cities in America

  • #51. Mississippi

    Average life expectancy: 75.0 years
    Female life expectancy: 78.0 years
    Male life expectancy: 71.9 years

  • #50. Alabama

    Average life expectancy: 75.4 years
    Female life expectancy: 78.2 years
    Male life expectancy: 72.6 years

  • #49. West Virginia

    Average life expectancy: 75.5 years
    Female life expectancy: 78.1 years
    Male life expectancy: 72.8 years

  • #48. Louisiana

    Average life expectancy: 75.7 years
    Female life expectancy: 78.6 years
    Male life expectancy: 72.7 years

  • #47. Oklahoma

    Average life expectancy: 75.9 years
    Female life expectancy: 78.5 years
    Male life expectancy: 73.3 years

  • #45. Kentucky (tie)

    Average life expectancy: 76.0 years
    Female life expectancy: 78.5 years
    Male life expectancy: 73.4 years

  • #45. Arkansas (tie)

    Average life expectancy: 76.0 years
    Female life expectancy: 78.8 years
    Male life expectancy: 73.1 years

  • #44. Tennessee

    Average life expectancy: 76.3 years
    Female life expectancy: 79.0 years
    Male life expectancy: 73.5 years

  • #43. District of Columbia

    Average life expectancy: 76.5 years
    Female life expectancy: 80.1 years
    Male life expectancy: 72.8 years

  • #42. South Carolina

    Average life expectancy: 76.9 years
    Female life expectancy: 79.8 years
    Male life expectancy: 74.0 years

2018 All rights reserved.