In a report released Thursday, from the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looked at death rates in 2019, the last year for which complete data is available, for each state and Washington, D.C. This data comes before the pandemic took hold.
For the U.S. overall, life expectancy was 78.8 years in 2019, an increase of 0.1 years from 2018. States with the highest life expectancy mostly in the Northeast and Western states while the lowest life expectancy were Southern states.
The results showed that residents of Hawaii were found to have the highest life expectancy of 80.9, while the residents of the southern state of Mississippi, had the country’s lowest life expectancy of 74.4 years.
Hawaii not only had the highest life expectancy at birth in 2019, the Aloha State also led the U.S. in highest life expectancy for women at 83.9 years. However, the report found life expectancy was higher for women in every state and Washington, D.C.
Rounding out the top five were California at 80.9 years, New York at 80.7 years, Minnesota at 80.4 years, and Massachusetts also at 80.4 years. California had the highest life expectancy for males in 2019 at 78.4 years.
Meanwhile, the five lowest life expectancy states were all in the south, with residents of Mississippi, at 74.4 years old, West Virginia at 74.5 years, Alabama at 75.2 years, Kentucky at 75.5 years and Tennessee at 75.6 Years. Life expectancy in these five lowest states for women was at 77.3 years.
Elizabeth Arias, the lead author of the new report, told NCB News although poverty levels weren’t accounted for, states with low life expectancies also had high levels of poverty.
“When you look at the map of life expectancy, and if you were to look at a map of socioeconomic statue, which includes poverty, education attainment, you would see that they would look very similar,” said Arias.
Recent data has shown that the first substantial drop in Americans’ life expectancy over a sustained period in a century, dating back to the Spanish Flu pandemic, will probably occur in the next report for 2020, that will come out next year, that will average in the 386,000 Americans lives lost due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.