U.S. Life Expectancy Hits Record High

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Americans are living longer than ever, according to new figures from the federal government. The National Vital Statistics System determined that the average life expectancy at birth in 2009 was 78.2 years, the highest rate on record. Numerous factors played into the longer life spans, such as drops in the death rate for heart diseases (-3.7%), cancer (-1.1%), Alzheimer’s (-4.1%), diabetes (-4.1%) and homicide (-6.8%). Infant mortality was also down by 2.6%, and even accidental deaths dropped by 4.1%. The only major cause of death that rose in 2009 was suicide (0.9%).
There is a significant variation in life expectancy depending on sex and race. A white female baby born in 2009 could expect to live 80.9 years, whereas a black male baby’s life expectancy is exactly 10 years less.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
US Life Expectancy is Up, Hits Record High of 78.2! (by Aaron Saetz, Singularity Hub)
Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2009 (National Vital Statistics Reports) (pdf)


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