Where you live has a big impact on how long you live, a recent analysis of major U.S. metro areas finds.
While people born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, can expect to live around 83 years on average, natives of Jackson, Mississippi, have lives that are 8.6 years shorter, according to a MoneyGeek report.
The report analyzed 119 metro areas with populations of 250,000 or more using data from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s county health rankings. Researchers found the coastal lifestyle appears to be good for longevity: 6 of the top 10 metros for life expectancy are in California or Florida.
The Bay Area ranks No. 2 in the nation for life expectancy, with an average of 82.9 years old. Just barely behind it is the Los Angeles metro area, with an average life expectancy of 82.8.
The San Diego metro area also ranked in the top 10.
This study isn’t the first to connect location with longevity. Researchers at Stanford and MIT found that moving to the Northeast, California, and parts of Florida even after age 65 could grow people’s remaining life expectancy by as much as 5 percent.
Researchers found “the areas with the least favorable effects on life expectancy are concentrated in the deep South and Southwest.”
Those results are echoed in MoneyGeek’s analysis, where the bulk of metro areas with the lowest life expectancies are in southern states, and those with the longest life expectancies were largely in coastal states.
See the 10 metro areas with the longest life expectancies in the chart below. The age refers to the average life expectancy at birth for people born in the metro area.
|Rank||Metro area||Avg. life expectancy|
|2||San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA||82.9|
|3||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||82.8|
|4||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||82.6|
|5||Urban Honolulu, HI||82.5|
|6||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL||82.5|
|7||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||82.5|
|8||San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA||82.2|
|9||North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL||81.9|
Another California city with long life expectancies is Sacramento, with an average of 81.5 years. Bakersfield ranked in the middle at 77.5 years.
Meanwhile, the cities with the worst life expectancies were:
- Jackson, MS
- Mobile, AL
- Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Montgomery, AL
- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
See the full ranking of all 120 metro areas analyzed here.
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