Life Expectancy in United States Hits New High

The Centers for Disease Control reported this month that life expectancy in the United States reached a new high of 77.2 years.

For men, average life expectance is now at 74.4 years, and for women at 79.8 years. Broken down by race, the average life expectancy for whites is 77.7 years and for blacks 72.2 years.

Statistician Elizabeth Arias who was the lead author of the CDC’s study of life expectancy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that changes in behavior played a major role in increasing life expectancies,

For instance, the decline in smoking — from 50 percent of the population in the 1950s to about 25 percent now — has a lot to do with decreases in heart disease and cancer.


Life expectancy climbs to record high in America. M.A.J. McKenna, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 15, 2003.

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