States Where People Live the Longest

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5. Connecticut
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 80.9 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 6.05 years — 8th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 10.0% — 12th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 25.8% — 8th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 12.7% — 3rd lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 13.8% — 5th lowest

Connecticut has among the highest concentration of primary doctors, dentists, and mental health providers per 100,000 people in the country. Access to health care may help partially explain the state’s high life expectancy over the years.

The state has the third lowest adult smoking rate as well as the fifth lowest share of adults who report being in poor or fair health. Staying physically active — as more adults in Connecticut report to do compared to the rest of the U.S. — may also contribute to better health outcomes. Just 20.4% of residents don’t exercise, the 10th lowest share in the U.S. About 25.8% of adults in the state are obese, the seventh lowest share of all states.

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4. Minnesota
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 81.0 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.02 years — 25th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 9.0% — 4th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 27.9% — 17th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 14.5% — 11th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 12.1% — the lowest

Minnesota has been in the top five states for life expectancy since at least the 1980s. Socioeconomic factors, such as the fourth lowest poverty rate in the country and the fourth smallest share of households living on less than $10,000 a year, may help explain this.

The state also has the fifth lowest share of uninsured people, at only 4.9%, compared to a national share of 9.2%.

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3. New York
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 81.0 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 7.81 years — the largest increase
> Poverty rate: 13.0% — 16th highest
> Adult obesity rate: 25.5% — 5th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 14.1% — 9th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 16.6% — 22nd lowest

New York’s life expectancy at birth rose by nearly eight years between 1980 and 2015, the largest improvement in the nation.

As is often the case in states with high life expectancy, measures such as New York’s relatively low obesity rate and high college attainment rate reflect healthy lifestyles and advantages that support longer lives. One in four state adults are obese, versus approximately one in three adults nationwide. The share of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree of 37.8% is eighth highest of all states.

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2. California
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 81.3 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 7.01 years — 2nd largest increase
> Poverty rate: 11.8% — 25th highest
> Adult obesity rate: 23.6% — 2nd lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 11.3% — 2nd lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 17.2% — 25th highest

Residents of California have significantly improved their lifestyle, increasing the average life expectancy in the state significantly, and jumping from having the 20th highest life expectancy in 1980 to having the second highest in 2015.

The Golden State has the second lowest share of obese adults, the fourth lowest share of adults who do not exercise, and the second lowest share of adults who smoke.

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1. Hawaii
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 82.0 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.24 years — 19th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 9.3% — 7th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 23.7% — 3rd lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 12.8% — 4th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 14.2% — 7th lowest

Despite a relatively average increase in life expectancy over the last 35 years compared to other states, Hawaii continues to be the state with the longest life expectancy year after year at least since 1980.

The Aloha State has the third lowest obesity rate in the country and the fourth lowest smoking rate. Residents tend to have relatively better access to health care with the state having among the highest number of primary care doctors and dentists per capita. The state has the third lowest share of residents with no health insurance, which may explain the number of preventable hospitalizations per 1,000 Medicare enrollees being the lowest in the U.S., more than half the national average.