Thursday, July 18, 2013

Healthy Life Expectancy by State

With so many baby boomers turning 65, there's a lot of interest in how long boomers can expect to remain healthy. According to a report from the CDC, people aged 65 can expect to live another 19.1 years on average. But they can expect only 13.9 years of healthy life, which the CDC estimates using responses to the question, "Would you say that in general your health is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?" Those who say their health is "excellent," "very good," or "good" are considered to be healthy. Those who say their health is "fair" or "poor" are no longer living the healthy life.

Not only has the CDC made this calculation for the nation as a whole, but for individual states. Overall, for people aged 65, the state with the longest healthy life expectancy is Hawaii (16.2 years) and the state with the shortest healthy life expectancy is Mississippi (10.8 years). Not surprisingly, blacks have a shorter healthy life expectancy than whites in nearly every state, but both blacks and whites have the shortest healthy life expectancy in the South.

Source: CDC, State-Specific Healthy Life Expectancy at Age 65 Years—United States, 2007-2009

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