Could the secret to a longer life depend on where you live? Maybe. Using federal data from the Centers for Disease Control, Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau, Life Extension, a vitamin and supplement company, found that Hawaii has the highest overall ranking of all states with a life expectancy of 80.7 years. Minnesota, Vermont, Washington and New Hampshire round out the top five, which points to states with scenic outdoor areas and active populations living longer lives.
The U.S. life expectancy overall has declined two years in a row to 78.5 years. The rankings were determined by measuring actual life expectancy at birth, in all 50 states and D.C., against eight healthy lifestyle metrics spanning diet, exercise, and mental well-being.
While a healthy lifestyle is often indicative of life expectancy, that’s not always the case. According to the data, seven of the 10 states with the longest life expectancies also rank in the top 10 for living a healthy lifestyle.; however, D.C. is a notable exception as the nation’s capital ranks 23rd for life expectancy despite having the sixth healthiest lifestyle. The 10 states with the unhealthiest lifestyles do have the lowest life expectancies and are mainly concentrated in the Southeast.
This decline marks the largest decrease in life expectancy since 1923, according to the CDC. Data shows that “non-Hispanic American Indian-Alaskan Native people had the biggest drop in life expectancy in 2021 with 1.9 years; non-Hispanic white people in the United States had the second biggest decline in life expectancy from 77.4 in 2020 to 76.4 in 2021; and non-Hispanic Black people had the third biggest decline, a 0.7 year drop from 71.5 years in 2020 to 70.8 in 2021.”
Recently, researchers at the University of Georgia and University of Southern Florida determined there may not be a maximum limit to the human lifespan, citing how the birth cohort of people born between 1900 and 1950 are “experiencing historically unprecedented mortality postponement.”
Active aging, which involves various dimensions of wellbeing—such as physical, cognitive, emotional, environmental, social and spiritual health—can help increase longevity and quality of life. And having a positive mindset helps as well. According to research from Yale, people with negative attitudes about aging shorten their life expectancy by 7.5 years. Other factors, such as genetics, environmental concerns and access to health care, also contribute to life expectancy.
Top 10 States for Longevity
|5. New Hampshire||79|
Bottom 10 States for Longevity
|43. South Carolina||74.8|
|51. West Virginia||72.8|