States Where People Live the Longest

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30. Delaware
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 78.7 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.90 years — 11th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 11.3% — 22nd lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 30.9% — 24th highest
> Adult smoking rate: 17.0% — 24th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 18.0% — 20th highest

Delaware is one of the 10 states with the largest share of adults who do not exercise, and lack of physical activity can lead to increased risk of chronic diseases.

The concentration of physicians in the First State is slightly below the nationwide average. There are 72 primary care doctors per 100,000 state residents, compared to 75 per 100,000 nationwide. The number of dentists per capita is also low. There are 47 dentists per 100,000 people, the second lowest concentration in the United States. Dentists can check for unhealthy teeth and gum disease, which some research suggests can be an indication of heart problems.

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29. Alaska (tied)
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 78.8 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 6.26 years — 6th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 10.1% — 14th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 32.5% — 14th highest
> Adult smoking rate: 21.0% — 9th highest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 18.1% — 16th highest

The increase in life expectancy at birth in Alaska since 1980 is among the highest in the country. Average life expectancy at birth in Alaska in 2015 was more than six years higher than 35 years earlier.

Still, Alaska has the seventh highest share of residents without health insurance at 12.2%, compared to a national average of 9.2%.

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28. Texas (tied)
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 78.8 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 5.16 years — 24th largest increase
> Poverty rate: 13.6% — 11th highest
> Adult obesity rate: 30.1% — 25th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 15.7% — 18th lowest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 20.8% — 7th highest

The second most populous state in the country has the highest share of the population with no health insurance, at 18.4%, compared to a national uninsured share of 9.2%. Lack of health insurance has been linked to increased risk of serious health problems, including chronic diseases and higher mortality.

In addition, there are just over 61 primary care doctors available for every 100,000 residents, the fourth lowest ratio in the country. Lack of primary care has been linked to poor health. About 20.8% of adults in Texas report being in poor or fair health, the seventh highest share of all states.

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27. Wyoming (tied)
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 78.8 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 4.60 years — 23rd smallest increase
> Poverty rate: 10.1% — 14th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 28.9% — 20th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 18.7% — 17th highest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 15.0% — 15th lowest

Wyoming’s life expectancy at birth in 2015 is about the same as the national average of 78.7. The least populous state in the country has the sixth highest share of residents who do not have health insurance coverage at 12.3%. Working people with no health coverage have 40% higher mortality risk than those who have private insurance, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Wyoming also has the fifth highest injury mortality rate per 100,000 people, at 92 compared to a national average of 70. Unintentional injury was the third leading cause of death among all in the U.S. in 2018, according to the CDC.

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26. Maine
> Life expectancy at birth in 2015: 79.0 years
> Increase in life expectancy, 1980-2014: 4.52 years — 21st smallest increase
> Poverty rate: 10.9% — 19th lowest
> Adult obesity rate: 29.9% — 24th lowest
> Adult smoking rate: 17.3% — 23rd highest
> Adults in poor or fair health: 15.0% — 16th lowest

Average life expectancy in Maine has increased from 74.5 years at birth in 1980 to 79.0 years in 2015. Reducing drunk driving deaths in the state may increase life expectancy even more. At 36.7%, the state has the fifth highest share of driving deaths with alcohol involvement.

In addition, almost 30% of adult residents are obese, just slightly over the national average of 29.0%. Obesity is associated with a host of adverse health outcomes, including heart disease.