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In 2014, the United States ranked 41st in the world in life expectancy, with an average American expected to live to age 78. But, like most averages, that doesn't paint the whole picture. Life expectancy is more like Norway's in some parts of the country and more like Kazakhstan's in others.

That's why it's more useful to look at it county by county. Here's how life expectancy in U.S. counties compare to averages around the world.

Expand chart

Data: World Bank, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; Chart: Lazaro Gamio and Naema Ahmed / Axios

The big takeaways:

  • Broadly, counties in the South have lower average life expectancies, while the coasts and the upper Midwest score higher.
  • Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota has the lowest life expectancy in the country at 66 years. Summit County, Colorado has the highest at 86 years.
  • Japan, Spain, Switzerland and Italy have the highest average life expectancy in the world at 83 years.
  • Only four U.S. counties surpass 83 — three of them are in Colorado and the other is in North Dakota.

The data: Global life expectancy stats were published by The World Bank. The U.S. county level stats are from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Keep in mind: We're comparing life expectancy of U.S. counties to the averages of whole countries — which have their own regional differences, too.

Go deeper

49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Tech companies worry about becoming targets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tech employees are on high alert about their own personal safety as their employers roll out policies to ban or limit the reach of far-right extremists angry over former President Donald Trump's defeat.

Why it matters: As tech companies impose aggressive policies after the Capitol riot, employees will be the target of vitriol from aggrieved people who think tech and the media are conspiring to silence Trump and conservatives more broadly.