States Where People Live the Longest

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10. New Hampshire (tied)
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.1 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.17 years — 23rd largest increase
> Poverty rate: 7.3% — the lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 27.9% — 17th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 15.7% — 17th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 13.1% — 3rd lowest

Life expectancy in New Hampshire has continued to be among the highest over the years. Two reasons may help explain the consistent relatively high life expectancy: relatively high educational attainment and low poverty, both of which have been linked to better overall health and longer life expectancy.

No other state has a lower poverty rate than New Hampshire, and only one has a lower share of households living on annual incomes of $10,000 or less. The Granite State has the ninth highest share of adults with a bachelor’s degree.

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9. Washington
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.3 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.24 years — 19th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 9.8% — 9th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 27.8% — 15th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 13.5% — 5th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 15.6% — 18th lowest

Washington state has had among the longer life expectancy of all states over the last four decades. One possible reason may be the high share of the adult population who engage in physical activity. Only 17.0% do not exercise, the second lowest share and significantly lower than the 23.0% nationwide share. The state’s adult obesity rate is lower than the national rate.

The Evergreen State is also among those with the highest concentration of primary care doctors, dentists, and mental health care providers per 100,000 residents.

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8. Colorado (tied)
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.5 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.30 years — 18th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 9.3% — 7th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 21.8% — the lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 14.6% — 12th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 14.5% — 10th lowest

Colorado’s average life expectancy at birth has remained among the highest since 1980. The Centennial State has the lowest adult obesity rate in the country as well as the lowest share of adult residents who don’t exercise.

In terms of overall health measures, Colorado adult residents report among the lowest numbers of physically unhealthy days per month. The state also has among the lowest share of adults reporting poor or fair health, and among the lowest rate of preventable hospitalizations and people living below the poverty lines.

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7. New Jersey (tied)
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.5 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 6.98 years — 3rd largest increase
> Poverty rate: 9.2% — 5th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 26.4% — 11th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 13.7% — 7th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 17.7% — 21st highest

New Jersey’s average life expectancy at birth has significantly improved over the last four decades, more than all but two other states. As a result, its ranking improved from having the 29 highest life expectancy in 1980 to seventh highest in 2015.

The Garden States has among the highest education attainment rates and household incomes of all states and among the lowest poverty rates. These factors — in addition to a lower than the national average adult obesity and smoking rates — may have contributed to the state’s nearly seven-year increase in life expectancy.

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6. Massachusetts
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.7 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.98 years — 10th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 9.4% — 8th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 24.7% — 4th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 13.7% — 6th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 14.4% — 8th lowest

Massachusetts has significantly improved its standing when it comes to life expectancy, moving up 10 spots since 1980.

At just 3.0%, no state has a lower share of uninsured residents. Massachusetts’ low adult obesity rate, at 24.7%, is the fourth lowest adult obesity rate in the country. In addition, the Bay State has the highest concentration of mental health providers and dentists per capita and the third highest concentration of primary care physicians.