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Hawaiians live an average of 81 years.

By Cailey Rizzo
March 12, 2021
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You might live longer if you move to Hawaii.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked each state by the average life expectancy of its residents. While Americans will live, on average, 78.7 years, that number varies greatly once you break it down by state.

Out of anyone in America, Hawaiians have the longest life expectancy, according to the CDC research. Their average life expectancy is exactly 81 years. While the data does not break down why exactly Hawaiians tend to live longer than other Americans, weather conditions, easy access to natural resources, low obesity and smoking rates, and near-universal health care are likely contributing factors. The state consistently ranks the highest for life expectancy.

The remaining states with the top 10 highest life expectancies were coastal and/or northern. Hawaii was followed by California, New York, Minnesota, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

On the opposite end of the data was West Virginia, where the average life expectancy is 74.4 years, the CDC reported. The remainder of the states in the bottom 10 were Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Missouri.

Mature and senior friends in discussion before early morning surf
Credit: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

The data was also analyzed to determine life expectancy differences between the genders. Among all the states, women were expected to live longer.

"With a few exceptions, the states with the largest sex differences are those with lower life expectancy at birth, while the smallest sex differences are found mostly among states with higher life expectancy," CDC researchers wrote. The differences between men and women ranged from 3.8 years in Utah to 6.2 years in New Mexico.

The data was published in National Vital Statistics Reports this week. It was collected from state-level mortality and population estimates from 2018 alongside each state's death and population data for older Medicare beneficiaries.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.