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

Which State’s Residents Live the Longest?

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 14, 2012 -- Hawaiians must be doing something right.

A new report shows residents of the tropical state live longer than those of any other state in the country.

The latest state-specific life expectancy tables from the CDC show Hawaiians’ average life expectancy at birth in 1999-2001 was 80 years.

Residents of Mississippi and the District of Columbia didn’t fare nearly as well.

Mississippi had the lowest life expectancy of any state at just under 74 years. Life expectancy in the District of Columbia was even lower at 73 years.

Life Expectancy by State

The life expectancy tables are released every 10 years. They're based on federal census and state death certificate data.

The results show that state-specific life expectancy at birth improved for all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1989-1991 to 1999-2001.

Although the District of Columbia had the lowest life expectancy at 73.1 years, it also experienced the biggest improvement since the last report: an increase of more than 5 years.

Wyoming had the smallest improvement from 1989-1991 to 1999-2001, with an increase of less than half a year.

The top five states with the longest life expectancy at birth in 1999-2001 were:

  1. Hawaii - 80.2 years
  2. Minnesota - 79.3 years
  3. North Dakota - 79.1 years
  4. Connecticut - 78.9 years
  5. Utah - 78.9 years

The bottom five states (excluding the District of Columbia) with the shortest life expectancy at birth were:

  • 46. Kentucky - 75.2 years
  • 47. South Carolina - 75 years
  • 48. Alabama - 74.8 years
  • 49. Louisiana - 74.3 years
  • 50. Mississippi - 73.9 years

The full life expectancy tables by state are available at the CDC’s web site.

Life Expectancy Improving

The results showed life expectancy at age 65 ranged from a high of 20.4 years in Hawaii to a low of 16.6 years in Kentucky.

The report showed average life expectancy at age 65 also improved in all states, except Kentucky.

The biggest improvement in life expectancy at age 65 was in Arizona (1.6 years). Louisiana had the smallest improvement (0.4 years), and Kentucky actually experienced a decline of half a year in average life expectancy at age 65.

Overall, women had a higher life expectancy in all states and the District of Columbia. The average difference between female and male life expectancy ranged from nine years in the District of Columbia to 3.7 years in Wyoming.

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