Women's health

Where in America do women live the longest?

March 26, 2013 at 4:24 PM ET

life expectancy women in american
iVillage /
life expectancy women in american

When you live in a tropical island paradise like Hawaii, it’s no surprise that you’re less likely to be depressed there than anywhere else in America. Hawaii women are also the least likely to be overweight or obese and most likely to outlive their sisters in every other state. The average lifespan for a woman in Hawaii is 84.8—more than 3 years older than the national average of 81.2 and nearly seven years longer than the 78.1 year average life expectancy in West Virginia.

The states with the highest life expectancy are sprinkled across the country and include Minnesota, California, Florida and New York. But the 10 states with the shortest lifespan are all in the south: West Virginia as well as Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia. Five of these states—Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia—also have the worst heart disease rates among women in the nation. Hawaii, on the other hand, has the second lowest rate of heart disease, which is the country’s No. 1 killer of women.

Here’s how the states rank when it comes to average life expectancy: #1 is the state with the longest life expectancy while #50 is the state with the shortest. The numbers below represent the average number of years women live in all 50 states.

RankStateAge
1Hawaii84.8
2Minnesota83.3
3California82.8
4Florida82.7
4New York82.7
6Arizona82.6
6North Dakota82.6
8Massachusetts82.5
8South Dakota82.5
10Connecticut82.4
11Colorado82.2
12Iowa82
12Utah82
14New Jersey81.9
15Wisconsin81.8
16New Hampshire81.7
16Washington81.7
18Rhode Island81.6
18Vermont81.6
20New Mexico81.5
21Nebraska81.4
22Maine81.3
22Oregon81.3
24Illinois81.2
25Alaska81
25Delaware81
25Idaho81
28Pennsylvania80.9
28Virginia80.9
30Kansas80.8
30Texas80.8
32Maryland80.7
33Montana80.6
34Michigan80.4
35Indiana80.3
35Wyoming80.3
37Missouri80.2
37Nevada80.2
39Ohio80.1
40North Carolina79.9
41Georgia79.8
42South Carolina79.5
43Tennessee79.1
44Kentucky79
45Arkansas78.9
46Louisiana78.6
47Alabama78.3
47Mississippi78.3
49Oklahoma78.2
50West Virginia78.1


Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007

See the State of Women methodology and sources.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.


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