Does where you live have one of the highest life expectancies in America?
Fountains of youth may be mythical, but environments that promote longevity are very real, and a few counties in America stand out from the rest.
On Monday, Realtor.com released a study of life expectancies in the United States and the top 10 places where people live the longest. In addition to finding out the highest average ages people live until, researchers looked into the reasons certain locations have the oldest expected lifespans.
They spoke to Dan Buettner, who has made a career out of studying lifespans around the world as part of the healthy-living initiative he founded, Blue Zones. The "rare longevity hotspots" Blue Zones has identified around the world are Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Nicoya, Costa Rica, Icaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, CA–but it's what these communities have in common that has broader implications for the communities around the world.
Buettner has found that individual lifestyle habits are linked to those of the greater community. For example, if everyone in your neighborhood is eating fast food for dinner, you're more likely to pick up some fast food for yourself. On the flip side, if everyone around you is bonding over Soul Cycle and vegetable recipes, you'll probably get in on those trends too.
For the findings in the United States, where the average lifespan is around 79-years-old, Realtor.com used the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington's 2014 record of death certificates in the country to determine the average length of residents' lives in every community.
Here are the counties in which people tend to live the longest in America:
- Summit County, Colorado: 86.8 years
- Billings County, North Dakota: 84 years
- Marin County, California: 83.8 years
- Fairfax County, Virginia: 83.7 years
- Aleutians East Borough, Alaska: 83.7 years
- Presidio County, Texas 83.7 years
- San Juan County, Washington: 83.7 years
- Los Alamos County, New Mexico: 83.5 years
- Teton County, Wyoming: 83.5 years
- Collier County, Florida: 83.4 years