A soybean farmer in Mississippi County, Arkansas.
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If you were born in the South, you likely have a shorter life expectancy than the rest of the United States. This comes from newly released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday.
The results, published in the National Vital Statistics Reports, examined the country-level mortality and population estimates starting in 2018, as well as the country-specific death and population numbers of elderly Medicare beneficiaries that year.
The CDC found Americans are expected to live 78.7 years at birth, although women are more likely to survive males by 5 years across the country, according to the report. The states in the south fared worse than their northeastern and western counterparts.
West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Missouri ranked the bottom ten states in terms of life expectancy, the CDC found. West Virginia, with a life expectancy of 74.4 years, was the lowest for both men and women.
"With a few exceptions, the states with the largest sex differences are those with lower life expectancy at birth, while the smallest gender differences are mainly found in states with higher life expectancy," CDC researchers wrote in the report.
Meanwhile, at 81 years of age, Hawaii took the top spot for the state with the highest life expectancy. Aloha state was followed by California, New York, Minnesota, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, and Rhode Island to round out the top ten states that have lived longest.
The CDC's most recent life expectancy figures come just under a month after the agency released a preliminary report in February that found life expectancy fell by one year during the pandemic in the first half of 2020 – the biggest drop since Second World War.
According to that report, the CDC projected a life expectancy at birth for Americans of 77.8 years in 2020.
– Reuters contributed to this report.