These are the US states where people live the longest, healthiest lives — and the shortest.


old people the golden years

  • Life expectancy increased in the US from 1990 to 2016. Today, overall average life expectancy is up to 78.9 years old. 
  • But researchers are worried that increasingly, Americans are smoking and drinking too much, eating bad food, and suffering from more drug use disorders.
  • It's all having an effect on how long people can live healthy, disability and disease-free lives.

Americans born today can expect to live to a ripe old age of nearly 79 years old.

Life expectancy in the US is nearly four years longer than it was back in 1990. But researchers say while Americans might live longer today than they used to, they're not necessarily living much healthier lives. 

That's according to a new JAMA study that tracked the state of health in the US from 1990-2016. The study traced the prevalence of 333 different health problem causes and 84 risk factors for death over a 26 year period.

The researchers found that the average American born today can expect to live 67.7 years illness and injury-free, a healthy life expectancy average that's just 2.4 years longer than it was in 1990.

The researchers are especially worried about growing rates of health problems like obesity and diabetes, as well as the prevalence of drug use disorders (including opioid addiction) and alcohol use. Other health issues on the rise in the US include cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's and hearing loss, which are edging out what used to be some of the most common health issues in the country, like major depression, low back pain, and car crash injuries. 

Lead study author Christopher Murray, who directs the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has said before that obesity and substance use disorders are increasing health problems around the globe, and his most recent data shows us that the US is no exception to the trend.

In 1960, Americans had the highest life expectancy of any country in the world. But today, the US has plummeted to the bottom of the list of countries with a similar GDP and high average income, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation

The number of years people can expect to live healthy, illness and injury-free lives in the US is over 70 years old in only two states: Minnesota and Hawaii. Take a look at where your state ranks. 

healthy life expectancy in every stateBusiness Insider

Here's the full list, in order from longest healthy life expectancy to shortest*.

  1. Minnesota - 70.3 years 
  2. Hawaii - 70.1 years 
  3. California - 69.9 years 
  4. Washington - 69.1 years 
  5. Vermont - 69 years
  6. Connecticut - 69 years 
  7. Iowa - 68.9 years 
  8. Massachusetts - 68.9 years
  9. Colorado - 68.9 years 
  10. New Jersey - 68.8 years 
  11. North Dakota - 68.8 years 
  12. Nebraska - 68.8 years 
  13. Wisconsin - 68.6 years 
  14. New Hampshire - 68.5 years 
  15. New York - 68.5 years 
  16. South Dakota - 68.4 years 
  17. Oregon - 68.4 years 
  18. Illinois - 68.3 years 
  19. Utah - 68.2 years 
  20. Rhode Island 68.1 years 
  21. Maine - 68 years 
  22. Maryland - 68 years 
  23. Virginia - 68 years 
  24. Florida - 67.9 years 
  25. Idaho - 67.9 years 
  26. Kansas - 67.8 years 
  27. Arizona - 67.7 years 
  28. Montana - 67.7 years 
  29. Texas - 67.4 years 
  30. Wyoming - 67.4 years 
  31. Washington, DC - 67.4 years 
  32. North Carolina - 67.4 years 
  33. Alaska - 67.3 years 
  34. Delaware - 67.2 years 
  35. Michigan - 67 years 
  36. Nevada - 66.9 years 
  37. Pennsylvania - 66.8 years
  38. Georgia - 66.6 years 
  39. Missouri - 66.5 years 
  40. New Mexico - 66.3 years 
  41. Ohio - 66.1 years 
  42. Indiana - 66 years 
  43. South Carolina - 65.8 years 
  44. Arkansas - 65.5 years 
  45. Tennessee - 65.4 years
  46. Louisiana - 65 years 
  47. Mississippi - 64.9 years 
  48. Alabama - 64.6 years 
  49. Oklahoma - 64.5 years 
  50. Kentucky - 64.3 years 
  51. West Virginia - 63.8 years 

*This list includes Washington DC, which is why there are 51 entries.

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