Most U.S. Counties Not Living as Long as Other Countries

Eighty percent of U.S. counties not keeping up with other nations in longevity.

ByABC News
June 14, 2011, 2:28 PM

June 15, 2011— -- A new report says people in most U.S. counties aren't living as long as people in other countries.

According to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, over the past decade, life expectancy in the majority of U.S. counties dropped below the life expectancy of people in the 10 nations who live the longest.

"Despite the fact that the U.S. spends more per capita than any other nation on health, eight out of every 10 counties are not keeping pace in terms of health outcomes. That's a staggering statistic," said Dr. Chris Murray, the institute's director.

In 2007, life expectancy across counties ranged from 65.9 to 81.1 years for men and 73.5 and 86 years for women. Between 1987 and 2007, life expectancy increased nationwide from 71.3 years to 75.6 years for men and from 78.4 to 80.8 years for women. Despite the increase, they still lag more than three years below people who live in the 10 longest-living nations, which include Japan, Australia, Singapore and Sweden.

"When we look at what's happened in U.S. counties in the past decade in terms of improving life expectancy and compare it to what is medically possible and what other countries have been able to achieve, we are not keeping up," said Murray.

The counties with the lowest life expectancies are:


The life expectancies in these counties are lower than 74 years, placing them behind such nations as Honduras, El Salvador and Peru.


The life expectancies in these counties are lower than 69 years, lower than those of Brazil, Latvia and the Philippines.

The counties with the highest life expectancies are the same for men and women: