Rich/poor life expectancy gap depends on where you live
The richest 1 percent of Americans live 14.6 years longer, on average, than those with the lowest 1 percent of incomes and that gap is growing.
While this disparity is well-known, the reasons are not well-understood. The Health Inequity Project is working to change that. Publishing their results in JAMA, researchers from across academia joined forces to map income disparities in life expectancy finding wide variation across the United States. Rich Americans’ life expectancy is growing regardless of where they live, but gains and losses for poor Americans vary considerably by geography.
Some large cities are making good progress extending the lives of the poor. New York City leads the nation with the highest life expectancy for low-income 40 year-olds. However, in other regions poor residents have lifespans closer to very poor countries and are losing ground.
The ERC region does relatively well, with most regions at average or better life expectancies for the poorest citizens. Improvements correlate with reducing health risks such as smoking and obesity, and with local circumstances such as public health programs and education. The authors of the report argue that health equity efforts need to happen at the local level as well as nationally.
Bottom income quartile life expectancy at age 40, men and women among largest 100 U.S. counties by population – CSG/ERC region
|Rank among top 100 counties||County||State||Life expectancy at age 40|