15 June 2011

U.S. life expectancy

Found at the Washington Post today, which also has an interactive graphic where you can sort life expectancy at a county-by-county level according to sex and race.

I'm not sure what to make of the data.  I can see on the map Hidalgo County, Texas (on the Rio Grande) coded in dark red for "long life expectancy," but that's where my dad spent his retirement years in a trailer park full of old people.  The same effect is evident in the South Florida coastal cities.  I'm not sure it's a map of relative health so much as a map of old/young populations.


  1. Looking at the dark pink counties in SW Florida, those are communities filled with middle to upper middle class retirees from the Northeast. So not only did they have the resources to buy a retirement home in Florida, they also probably had the resources to have had good healthcare throughout their lives before retirement. Poor people in very poor health don't have the resources to buy a house in those communities, so they end up dying back home.

  2. Depending on what they use for source numbers the presence of hospitals specializing in cancer treatment might affect the result too.

  3. Appears to be quite a strong correlation with obesity rates. Not proof of causation but interesting.


  4. Sorry was rushing and made a mess of the tags, correct link below

    2007 CDC data - obesity prevalence


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