Scientists Just Ranked All 50 States by Life Expectancy. The Results Are Truly Stunning


What’s the difference between living in Minnesota and living in Mississippi? About seven years.

It sounds like some kind of weird joke, but according to a new study, it’s no laughing matter. That’s because there’s a massive disparity among U.S. states in terms of how long people live.

People in Minnesota live the longest in the United States: 78.7 years old on average. Mississippi ranked 51st (the study includes Washington, D.C.). Live expectancy there is just 71.8 years. That’s a 9.6 percent difference.

This truly is a fascinating study, pulling together reams of data to create “the most comprehensive state-by-state health assessment ever undertaken,” according to a press release. (The study itself was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.) It’s unusual because most big studies examine the United States as a whole, and yet there’s a vast disparity of health and longevity among the states.

The biggest thieves robbing years from people’s lives? You already know them: tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and bad diets.

Below, you’ll find all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, ranked from highest life expectancy to lowest.

We’re also including benchmarks: the average life expectancy of people living in various foreign countries, as compiled in the separate World Health Organization’s 2016 report on global life expectancy.

1. Minnesota: average, 78.7 years

2. California: average, 78.6 years

3. Connecticut: average, 78.4 years

4. Hawaii: average, 78.4 years

5. Colorado: average, 78.1 years

6. New York: average, 78.1 years

7. Washington State: average, 78.1 years

(Benchmark–Croatia: average, 78.0 years)

8. Massachusetts: average, 77.9 years

9. Utah: average, 77.9 years

10. New Jersey: average, 77.8 years

(Benchmark–Albania: average, 77.8 years)

11. New Hampshire: average, 77.7 years

12. Vermont: average, 77.6 years

(Benchmark–Bosnia and Herzegovina: average, 77.4 years)

13. Oregon: average, 77.4 years

14. Wisconsin: average, 77.3 years

15. Idaho: average, 77.2 years

16. Iowa: average, 77.2 years

17. Nebraska: average, 77.2 years

18. North Dakota: average, 77.2 years

19. Rhode Island: average, 77.2 years

20. Arizona: average, 77.1 years

(Benchmark–Uruguay, average: 77.0 years)

21. Florida: average, 77.0 years

22. Virginia: average, 77.0 years

23. Maryland: average, 76.8 years

24. Montana: average, 76.8 years

(Benchmark–Mexico: average, 76.7 years)

25. South Dakota: average, 76.7 years

26. Illinois: average, 76.6 years

27. Maine: average, 76.5 years

28. Delaware: average, 76.2 years

29. Wyoming: average, 76.2 years

30. Kansas: average, 76.1 years

31. Texas: average, 76.1 years

(Benchmark–Vietnam: average, 76.0 years)

32. Pennsylvania: average, 76.0 years

33. Alaska: average, 75.9 years

34. Nevada: average, 75.9 years

35. Michigan: average, 75.6 years

(Benchmark–Iran, average: 75.5 years)

36. North Carolina: average, 75.4 years

37. Ohio: average, 75.1 years

38. Washington, DC: average, 75.1 years

39. New Mexico: average, 75.0 years

40. Missouri: average, 74.9 years

(Benchmark–Nicaragua: average, 74.8 years)

41. Georgia: average, 74.8 years

42. Indiana: average, 74.8 years

43. South Carolina: average, 74.2 years

(Benchmark–Dominican Republic: average, 73.9 years)

44. Tennessee: average, 73.5 years

45. Arkansas: average, 73.3 years

46. Kentucky: average, 73.2 years

47. Oklahoma: average, 73.2 years

48. Louisiana: average, 72.9 years

(Benchmark–Libya: average, 72.7 years)

49. West Virginia: average, 72.7 years

50. Alabama: average, 72.6 years

(Benchmark–Bangladesh, 71.8 years)

51. Mississippi: average, 71.8 years


  1. I know why that people don’t live as long in the states such as Alabama, Miss., Louisiana, and the other mostly deep south states is because the food in the deep south states is so darn wonderful and absolutely the tastiest, but also happens to be very bad for your health, as to how it is cooked, mostly fried, and has all kinds of wonderful seasonings, other fats, sugars, etc. but at least you die fat and happy! My grandma and my mama were two of the best cooks ever, but after visiting Alabama, at the restaurants, and some other family members there, OMG, that was some of the best food I have ever ate in my life, and I thought my grandma’s and mama’s were awesome, but I would move to Alabama just for that reason alone, the FOOD (and die at an earlier age, and die fat and very happy….LOL)!!!


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