Life Expectancy Surprise!

seniorsHave any desire to live until you’re 90 years old? If so, you might want to think about moving to South Korea! A new study on life expectancy is out and the U.S…..well, we didn’t fare so well.

From CBS News:

Life expectancy in the United States is already much lower than most other high-income countries and is expected to fall even further behind by 2030, new research published today predicts.

According to the most recent government figures, life expectancy at birth in the United States is 76.3 years for men and 81.2 years for women.

Using a number of forecasting models, researchers from the U.K. predict life expectancy in the U.S. will improve to 83.3 years for women and 79.5 years for men by the year 2030.

According to US News & World Report, U.S. life expectancy will be at parity with Mexico by 2030. “The finding is surprising to many, as the United States is vastly more wealthy and advantaged than its southern neighbor. The U.S. enjoys a GDP per capita of more than $56,000, while Mexico’s GDP per capita is slightly more than $9,000, according to World Bank statistics.”

So, why is the U.S falling behind so many  countries? Fortune Magazine writes:

The study authors listed a number of reasons, including U.S. health care policy (a lack of universal coverage and less robust safety net compared to most other countries) and persistent cultural issues such as high obesity and murder rates in America.

“The USA has the highest child and maternal mortality, homicide rate, and body-mass index of any high-income country, and was the first of high-income countries to experience a halt or possibly reversal of increase in height in adulthood, which is associated with higher longevity,” wrote the study authors.

Where does that leave us in the rankings? Are we near the bottom of the top 10? At least in the top 20? No and no! By 2030, when men and women in the U.S. are projected to live to 80 and 83. American women will fall to 27th out of 35 countries, from their current ranking of 25, and men will fall from 23rd to 26th.


In case you were wondering who’s leading the way, Time Magazine wrote, “Women were ahead of men in all countries. Behind South Korea, women in France, Japan, Spain and Switzerland were projected to live until 88. For South Korea men, life expectancy is expected to reach 84. Next were Australia, Switzerland, Canada and the Netherlands at nearly 84.”

Share your thoughts on this new study and whether the results surprise you. We’d also love to hear your thoughts on what we an do to improve our rankings. After all, improving health is key to our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!


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