Mar 4, 2022 - News

Colorado ranks among longest-living states

Estimated life expectancy at birth, 2019
Data: CDC National Center for Health Statistics; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Colorado once again ranks near the top of all states in the nation when it comes to life expectancy.

Why it matters: Longevity can be a sign of good health and quality of life.

What to expect: Coloradans born in 2019 have an average life expectancy of 80 years, according to state-by-state data released last month by the CDC National Center for Health Statistics.

  • While that's exactly the same as 2018 when babies could expect to live to 80 years, Colorado fell from sixth to ninth place nationwide in 2019.

Zoom out: Overall, life expectancy in the U.S. increased by 0.1 year from 2018 to 2019, Axios Vitals' Tina Reed reports.

  • Hawaii (80.9 years) again secured the top spot, while Mississippi (74.4) was the bottom.

Between the lines: This data is from before the pandemic began. Unfortunately, state health department data shows Colorado's life expectancy dropped to 78.9 in 2020, with the largest declines among Latino and Black populations.

  • The overall U.S. life expectancy at birth decreased from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77 years in 2020.
  • Meanwhile, maternal deaths rose 14% nationwide during the first year of the pandemic, particularly for Black and Hispanic women, according to a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Zoom in: Following national trends, Colorado women are projected to outlive their male counterparts by more than 4 years, to 82.2 years.

  • But at 77.8 years, the lifespan for local men is the third-highest in the nation. Women rank 11th.

Of note: In Denver, life expectancy varies drastically by neighborhood due to a variety of economic and social issues, like poverty, substance abuse and gun violence.

  • Some areas of the city separated by a mile have a life expectancy difference by as much as 13 years.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.


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