Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Living Longer: Life Expectancy Hits New High

Life Expectancy Is Nearly 78 Years for Babies Born in 2005, Says CDC
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 12, 2007 -- Life expectancy is greater than ever in the U.S., hovering a smidge below 78 years, the CDC today announced.

But America's lengthier life span still lags behind life expectancy in dozens of countries, according to World Health Organization statistics.

A baby born in the U.S. in 2005 has a life expectancy of 77.9 years. That's an extra tenth of a year, compared to life expectancy in 2004, according to the CDC's life expectancy statistics.

The CDC also reports that the top three causes of death -- heart disease, cancer, and stroke -- declined in 2005, compared with 2004, leading to greater life expectancy. However, heart disease, cancer, and stroke remain the country's top killers.

The life expectancy statistics are based on the CDC's preliminary data on more than 2.4 million deaths nationwide in 2005.

Life Expectancy Details

Life expectancy continues to be greater for women than for men and for whites compared with African-Americans -- but life expectancy edged up enough to reach a record high for African-Americans.

Here are the life expectancies for girls and boys born in 2005:

  • White girl: 80.8 years (unchanged from 2004)
  • White boy: 75.7 years (unchanged from 2004)
  • African-American girl: 76.5 years (up from 76.3 years in 2004)
  • African-American boy: 69.6 years (up from 69.5 years in 2004)

However, 26 countries have higher life expectancies for both men and women, according to the World Health Organization.

Japan has the world's greatest life expectancy for women (86 years) and the European republic of San Marino has the world's greatest life expectancy for men (80 years), according to the World Health Organization.

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing