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25 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US

In this article, we will look into the 25 states with the lowest life expectancy in the US. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to the 5 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US.

Health Outlook of the United States

According to the OECD Health at a Glance 2023 report, life expectancy in the United States was 76.4 years, which is 3.9 years lower than the OECD average. The US reported high treatable and preventable mortality rates of 98 per 100,000 and 238 per 100,000 respectively in 2022. A total of 3.1% of the US population reported their health as bad or very bad in 2022. In 2022, diabetes prevalence surpassed the OECD average in the US, which is one of the top causes of death in the country. The US reported 14.5 deaths per 100,000 population from air pollution. The obesity prevalence was higher than the OECD average in the country. Obesity is one of the major factors leading to heart disease, which is one of the top causes of death in the US.

Leading Causes of Death in the US

According to the National Center for Health and Statistics (NCHS), heart diseases were reported to be the leading cause of death in the US, recording total deaths of 659,041 in 2019. It was followed by malignant neoplasms, accidents, chronic respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, Alzheimer's, and diabetes among others.

According to the "Vital Statistics Rapid Release" report by NCHS, which provides a detailed breakdown of the contribution of leading causes of death to the change in life expectancy in the US, the country reported an increase in mortality from diseases including influenza and pneumonia, perinatal conditions, kidney disease, nutritional deficiencies, and congenital malformations in 2023. The increase in mortality by these diseases led to an overall decrease in life expectancy in the US, offsetting the positive impact of declining mortality from other causes. 

For the male population in the US, diseases including perinatal conditions, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, nutritional deficiencies, and congenital malformations increased mortality. Whereas, for women, the leading causes of death that negatively contributed to the overall life expectancy included influenza and pneumonia, nutritional deficiencies, chronic lower respiratory diseases, kidney disease, and perinatal conditions.

US Healthcare Market

According to a report by McKinsey and Company, the US healthcare market was worth $654 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4% and reach $790 billion in 2026. The market is driven by several factors including an aging population, increasing Medicare Advantage penetration, and rising insurance premium rates. Various segments in the market, such as Medicare, commercial segment, pharmacy services, and healthcare services and technology, are expected to experience significant growth over the forecasted period.

Major Players in the Market

Some of the leading companies in the US healthcare market include Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY), UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) is a top healthcare company in the US, actively working towards combating chronic diseases. On December 1, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) announced that the US FDA had approved Jaypirca, which is used for the treatment of patients having chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma. Jaypirca will be used for the treatment of patients who have previously received two or more lines of therapy. The approval of Jaypirca makes it the first-ever approved non-covalent BTK inhibitor.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) rules the US healthcare market with its top-notch healthcare services. On October 26, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) announced that it had awarded Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center a $2.3 million grant, that will help the center amplify access to prostate and colorectal cancer education, screening, and support for historically underserved individuals across Louisiana. The grant by UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) will help Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center expand its prevention education, early detection, diagnosis and treatment support, and survivorship programs. The grant will allow free screenings of 45,000 individuals.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is a leading pharmaceutical company in the US. On November 21, the company announced the acquisition of Caraway Therapeutics for a transaction of up to $610 million. This acquisition will allow Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to expand its portfolio to small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of genetically defined neurodegenerative and rare diseases. The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of 2023.

Now, that we have discussed the leading causes of death in the US and talked about the major players in the US healthcare market, let's have a look at the 25 states with the lowest life expectancy in the US.

25 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US
25 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US

25 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US

Our Methodology

To compile our list of the 25 states with the lowest life expectancy in the US, we sourced data for the life expectancy of each state from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our list ranks the states in descending order of life expectancy. We have also reported the leading cause of death for each state according to the CDC data of each state.

25 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US

25. Illinois

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.8 years

Illinois is ranked among the 25 states with the lowest life expectancy in the US. According to the CDC, Illinois's life expectancy was 76.8 years in 2020. The leading cause of death in Illinois was heart disease, followed by cancer, in 2021.

24. South Dakota

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.7 years

South Dakota is ranked 24th on our list with a low life expectancy of 76.7 years as reported by the CDC. The leading cause of death in South Dakota was cancer in 2021.

23. Delaware

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.7 years

Delaware is ranked 23rd on our list. According to the CDC, South Dakota reported a low life expectancy of 76.7 years in 2020. The leading cause of death in Delaware was heart disease, followed by cancer as reported by the CDC.

22. Alaska

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.6 years

Alaska reported a life expectancy of 76.6 years in 2020, according to the CDC. Cancer was reported to be the top cause of death in Alaska followed by heart disease and COVID-19 in 2021.

21. Texas

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.5 years

Texas ranks 21st on our list with a relatively low life expectancy of 76.5 years according to the CDC. The leading causes of death in Texas included heart disease, COVID-19, cancer, accidents, and Alzheimer's, among others, in 2021.

20. Kansas

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.4 years

Kansas is ranked among the 25 states with the lowest life expectancy in the US. According to the CDC, Kansas reported a life expectancy of 76.4 years in 2020. The leading cause of death in Kansas was heart disease followed by cancer in 2021.

19. Wyoming

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.3 years

Wyoming is ranked 19th on our list with a low life expectancy of 76.3 years as reported by the CDC. The leading cause of death in Wyoming was cancer in 2021.

18. Nevada

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.3 years

Nevada reported a life expectancy of 76.3 years in 2020, according to the CDC. Heart disease was the top cause of death in Nevada, followed by cancer and COVID-19, in 2021.

17. Arizona

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.3 years

Arizona is ranked 17th on our list with a low life expectancy of 76.3 years as reported by the CDC. The leading cause of death in Arizona was heart disease in 2021.

16. North Carolina

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.1 years

According to the CDC, North Carolina reported a life expectancy of 76.1 years in 2020. Some of the top causes of death in North Carolina included heart disease, cancer, stroke, and COVID-19, in 2021.

15. Michigan

Life Expectancy (2020): 76.0 years

Michigan is ranked among the 25 states with the lowest life expectancy in the US. According to the CDC, Michigan reported a life expectancy of 76 years in 2020. The leading cause of death in Michigan was heart disease, followed by cancer among others in 2021.

14. Georgia

Life Expectancy (2020): 75.6 years

Georgia is ranked 14th on our list with a low life expectancy of 75.6 years as reported by the CDC. Heart disease was the most prevalent cause of death in Georgia in 2021.

13. Ohio

Life Expectancy (2020): 75.3 years

According to the CDC, Ohio reported a life expectancy of 75.3 years in 2020. Some of the top causes of death in Ohio included heart disease, cancer, accidents, and COVID-19 among others in 2021.

12. Missouri

Life Expectancy (2020): 75.1 years

Missouri ranks 12th on our list. According to the CDC, it reported a life expectancy of 75.1 years in 2020. The leading cause of death in the state was heart disease in 2021.

11. Indiana

Life Expectancy (2020): 75.0 years

Indiana is ranked 11th on our list with a low life expectancy of 75 years as reported by the CDC. The leading cause of death in Indiana was heart disease in 2021.

10. South Carolina

Life Expectancy (2020): 74.8 years

According to the CDC, South Carolina reported a life expectancy of 74.8 years in 2020. Some of the most prevalent causes of death in South Carolina included heart disease, cancer, and accidents, among others, in 2021.

9. New Mexico

Life Expectancy (2020): 74.5 years

According to the CDC, New Mexico reported a life expectancy of 74.5 years in 2020. Some of the leading causes of death in New Mexico included heart disease, cancer, accidents, and chronic respiratory diseases, among others, in 2021.

8. Oklahoma

Life Expectancy (2020): 74.1 years

Oklahoma is ranked 8th on our list, reporting a life expectancy of 74.1  years in 2020 as reported by the CDC. The leading cause of death in Oklahoma was heart disease in 2021.

7. Tennessee

Life Expectancy (2020): 73.8 years

Tennessee is ranked 7th on our list with a low life expectancy of 73.8 years as reported by the CDC. The leading cause of death in Tennessee was heart disease in 2021.

6. Arkansas

Life Expectancy (2020): 73.8 years

Arkansas is ranked 6th among the 25 states with the lowest life expectancy in the US. According to the CDC, Arkansas reported a life expectancy of 73.8 years in 2020. The most prevalent cause of death in Arkansas was heart disease in 2021.

Click to continue reading and see 5 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US.

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Disclosure: None. 25 States with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.