Dwyer-Lindgren, Mokdad, Murray et al. find large and growing geographic disparities in Americans’ life expectancy

an In The Media Appearance

"U.S. life expectancy varies by more than 20 years from county to county" - Washington Post. 05/08/2017

"Life expectancy differs by 20 years between some US counties" - CNN. 05/08/2017

"Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live" - NPR. 05/08/2017

"Longer life expectancy? It depends on where you live" - CBS. 05/08/2017

"You can lose 20 years of life expectancy just by being born in the wrong place in America" - Quartz. 05/08/2017

"The 20 Year Life Expectancy Gap Between US Counties - This Is Angus Deaton, Appalachia and Migration" - Forbes. 05/08/2017

Analyzing records from every U.S. county between 1980 and 2014, researchers found a growing gap in lifespan – more than 20 years in 2014 – between counties with the longest and shortest life expectancy. Residents in counties with the shortest lifespans tend to be poorer and less educated than their counterparts. Also, it appears that these residents have made little progress over the past three decades in reducing health problems related to smoking and obesity. Co-author of the report, Ali Mokdad, says the US has a health disadvantage compared to peer countries in reducing behavior-related disease. “Smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure — these are preventable risk factors,” Mokdad said.


Christopher Murray

Laura Dwyer-Lindgren

Ali Mokdad

Related Resources

More Information

Interactive map of life expectancy data by year