A new study is giving a glimpse at who’s living the longest around the country, and the rate at which life expectancies are improving or declining county by county.
Women’s life expectancies are improving at a slower rate than men’s across the country, according to the research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
“It’s tragic that in a country as wealthy as the United States and with all the medical expertise we have that so many girls will live shorter lives than their mothers,” study researcher Dr. Ali Mokdad, head of the IHME county research team, said in a statement.
Between 1989 and 2009, the researchers found that men’s life expectancy increased by an average of 4.6 years. But women’s life expectancy only increased by an average of 2.7 years.
Now, in 2009, men’s average life expectancy is 81.6 years and the women’s average life expectancy is 86, according to the study.
The researchers also found that, for women, the divide between the counties with the highest life expectancies and those with lowest life expectancies is growing. In 1989, the gap used to be 8.7 years. But in 2009, the gap was 11.7 years — 85.8 years on average for women in Collier county in Florida, and 74.1 years on average for women in McDowell county, West Virginia.