Your Life Expectancy Depends Greatly On Wealth And Location

The older you get, the more you will value life because you have less of it. If you want to live longer, you should aim to grow richer and live in a more hospitable place. As you will see in this article, the correlation with life expectancy, wealth, and location is strong.

In 2023, life expectancy at birth in the US is 76.4 years. In further detail, it's 73.5 years for males and 79.3 years for females. The Blue Zones have proven that humans can thrive into their 100s (centenarians) in the right conditions. However, centenarians are very rare at only 0.027% of the world population (89,739 centenarians in a global population of 336,997,624).

Sadly, life expectancy at birth fell in 2021 to its lowest level since 1996 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This almost one-year decline in life expectancy in 2021 followed a 1.8-year life expectancy decline from 2019 to 2020.

The CDC attributes roughly half of the life expectancy decline to COVID-19. Because of the virus, roughly 20 years of life expectancy progress was wiped out.

Other reasons for the dramatic life expectancy declines include: Unintentional injuries (16%), which include drug overdoses, heart disease (4.1%), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (3%), and suicide (2.1%).

U.S. men and Women life expectancy over time - 1980 - 2021

Given the pandemic is over, we can expect life expectancy to stabilize or even rebound back to an upward trend. However, as someone who values life too much to leave living to chance, let's explore direct solutions to improving our own life expectancy.

Straightforward Ways To Increase Life Expectancy

Based on the above causes for shorter life expectancies, if we want to live longer, we should do the following:

  • Improve our mental health to reduce our chances of suicide
  • Surround yourself with positive friends and family to combat loneliness
  • Focus on your ikigai and have purpose in your daily life
  • Eat healthier and consume animal proteins in moderation
  • Exercise often to reduce our risk of heart disease
  • Retain muscle and grip strength to reduce risks of falls and injuries
  • Drink less alcohol to reduce our risk of liver disease
  • Stop taking illegal drugs and consume legal drugs in moderation
  • Drive less, drive more carefully, participate in lower-risk activities

Pretty straightforward right? The other clear solution to increasing life expectancy is to get richer. You can do so by signing up for my weekly newsletter and reading my book on building more wealth.

Now let's look at life expectancy differentials by state. The differences are shocking.

Improve Your Life Expectancy By Living In The Right State

According to this life expectancy chart by the Global Health Data Exchange and Jeremy Ney, it's clear some residents in certain states live longer.

We're talking about a 20-year life expectancy gap between states with the shortest life expectancies and states with the longest life expectancies! Therefore, if you want to increase your life expectancy, consider relocating to states with the highest average age at death.

Sure, it may be more expensive to live in California than Mississippi, but how much is life worth to you?

Where you want to live is up to you. This is not an article about where you should live. Instead, this is an article about where you might want to live to extend your life based on data. Every state has its pros and cons.

It may be too difficult to relocate during your working years, unless you're able to work remotely. However, relocating to a high-life-expectancy state for retirement may be more feasible. When you're older, you'll likely be more motivated to extend your life as well.

Life expectancy by state
Source: Global Health Data Exchange, Jeremy Ney

States With The Highest Life Expectancies

To live longer, you may want to live in Hawaii, California, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, Southern Florida, and the Northeastern States. Residents in Utah, Iowa, and Wisconsin also have relatively long life expectancies.

My favorite state is Hawaii. As soon as I step off the plane at Honolulu International Airport, my stress level drops by another three points out of ten. There's something magical about the scent of plumeria flowers and feeling the sea breeze that makes living in Hawaii so wonderful.

As a resident of San Francisco, California since 2001, I'm happy living here as well. San Francisco is one of the cheapest international cities in the world with a torrent of fortune-making opportunities.

Although every big city has its problems, I enjoy the nature, scenic beauty, diversity, activities, and cuisine of San Francisco. Having two young children has also increased my appreciation of living in San Francisco given we don't have to fly anywhere to have a great vacation.

States With The Lowest Life Expectancies

If you are OK with living a potentially shorter life, you may want to live in Alaska, Nevada, Northern Arizona, New Mexico, Northern and Eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Northern Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, and West Virginia. One of the greatest benefits of living in any these states is lower cost of living.

My favorite states in this group are Alaska and Louisiana. Hiking and fishing in Alaska are amazing experiences. I highly recommend visiting Mt. Denali National Park for the wildlife. I'll never forget taking a boat plane to some remote lake and camping with nobody around for hundreds of miles.

I also love Louisiana because of New Orleans. The food is incredible, the culture is wonderful, and so are the people. I'm sure if I lived in New Orleans, I'd gain at least ten pounds and still be happy. Sugar-coated beignets filled with jam or chocolate for the win!

If you live in a state with a low life expectancy, at least get an affordable term life insurance policy to protect your family. It's the responsible thing to do if you have dependents.

Why Are Life Expectancies So Different By State?

According to Robert H. Shmerling of Harvard Medical School, “Americans with the shortest life expectancies tend to have the most poverty, face the most food insecurity, and have less or no access to healthcare.

Additionally, groups with lower life expectancy tend to have higher-risk jobs that can’t be performed virtually, live in more crowded settings, and have less access to vaccination, which increases the risk of becoming sick with or dying of COVID-19.”

Whatever your views on vaccinations are, there does clearly seem to be a correlation with higher vaccination rates and longer life expectancies.

Policy decisions at the state level matter.

Social Determinants Of Health

Where you live may affect what the CDC calls “the social determinants of health” — “economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies, racism, climate change and political systems.”

For example, here in San Francisco, almost nobody smokes. Therefore, there is greater pressure on you to not smoke as well. In Los Angeles, there are super-fit people everywhere given the constant sunshine and entertainment scene. As a result, you feel more motivated to stay in shape.

Given this is a personal finance site, what I'm most interested in is the correlation between wealth and life expectancy. I want to know whether it's worth grinding hard to make and save as much money as possible. Or whether the intense pursuit of money will ultimately lead to a poorer lifestyle.

I believe in the simple hypothesis that the wealthier you are, the longer your life expectancy due to greater education and better medical services. Let's take a look at income and wealth by state and compare the data to life expectancies by state.

Average Household Income By State

Below is a map of the average household income by state. As you can see below, there is a high correlation between longer life expectancies and higher average household income. The average household income ranges from $60,923 to $127,264 as of 2019.

Notice how the southeastern states all have the lowest average household incomes in America. Montana is also one of the lowest household income states, however its life expectancy is average. Hence, good on Montana for providing life extending policies and social customs.

In 2023, the latest available median household income by state map is pretty similar. This map is per the NIMHD and the Census Bureau. The income rages are lower due to differences in calculations and the source data. However, you can still see the pattern of the southeastern states having the lowest incomes.

Median Household Income By State Map 2023

Virginia As Proof Of Correlation Between Income And Life Expectancy

The state that fascinates me the most is Virginia, the state where I went to high school and college. I attended to McLean High School in Northern Virginia and graduated from William & Mary in Williamsburg, southeastern Virginia.

Virginia has one of the highest average household incomes in America, yet is a mixed bag in terms of life expectancy. Wealth is concentrated in Northern Virginia, near Washington D.C, where life expectancy is high. However, the closer you get to southwestern Virginia, the poorer its residents and the lower the life expectancy.

Hence, I see Virginia as a great example to demonstrate the strong correlation between life expectancy and income. I visited all corners of Virginia during my high school and college years, and could clearly see the differences in wealth and health across the state.

The greater your income, the easier it is to afford healthcare, live in a nice house, eat healthier food, and pay for education.

Using an extreme example, some families I know pay more than $75,000 a year for private concierge health service. Talk about an unaffordable luxury for most families.

Average Net Worth By State

In addition to looking at household income by state, let's look at the average net worth by state according to Empower. I've used Empower's free financial tools to track my net worth since 2012 and was a shareholder.

Once again, you will see a high correlation between life expectancy and net worth. The states with higher average net worths have higher life expectancies and vice versa.

At the end of the day, you want to build as large a net worth as possible in order to generate as much passive income as possible. Because eventually, we will all tire or be unable to work. If you are out of work or unable to work, your life expectancy may suffer.

Wealthiest To Least Wealthiest States

4New Jersey$810,106
6New Hampshire$735,968
11New York$690,037
13North Carolina$653,513
22South Dakota$614,059
23Washington, D.C.$611,898
26South Carolina$587,075
28New Mexico$553,107
36Rhode Island$523,710
50West Virginia$376,690
51North Dakota$339,955

Outlier States With Weak Correlation With Net Worth And Life Expectancy

North Carolina, Alaska, Nevada, Texas Underperforming

The biggest outliers above are North Carolina (#13 rank, $653,513 net worth), Alaska (#14 rank, $652,999 net worth), Nevada (#18 rank, $636,385 net worth), and Texas (#19 rank, $634,048 net worth). Despite relatively high average net worths, the life expectancies in these states are below average.

We can make the assumption that after a certain level of net worth, money doesn't matter as much if state policies and social influences are not conducive to healthier lifestyles.

For example, of the 20 states with the worst life expectancies, eight are among the 12 states that have not implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Related: The Unhappiest Cities In America Based On A Wealth Realty Ratio

Hawaii and North Dakota Outperforming

On the flip side, the average net worth in Hawaii is only $518,417 (#17 rank), however, Hawaii residents live the longest. One could argue the slower lifestyle, better year-around weather, state policies, and healthier social influences are the reasons for the life expectancy outperformance.

During the pandemic, for example, Hawaii barred tourists and other non-essential travelers from coming to their islands. No other state took such drastic measures to protect its citizens from the virus.

North Dakota ($339,955 net worth) is also outperforming on the life expectancy front. Despite being the state with the lowest net worth in the country, its overall life expectancy is about average.

Finally, one of the greatest determinants of a higher net worth is owning your primary residence. It is no coincidence the states with the highest net worths also have the highest median home prices. Hence, if you want to build more wealth, own real estate.

Life Expectancy By Race

As a couple commenters asked, here is the life expectancy by race according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

life expectancy by race

Between 2019 and 2021, American Indians and Alaska Natives saw their life expectancy fall six and a half years to just over 65 years.

During the same time period, life expectancy fell 4.2 years for the Hispanic population, 4 years for the non-Hispanic Black population, 2.4 years for the non-Hispanic white population and 2.1 years for the non-Hispanic Asian population. In other words, life expectancy for every race fell.

Genetics likely has something to do with life expectancy. However, income, wealth, location, and social influences are also extremely important variables.

“This is simply what happens biologically to populations that are chronically and profoundly stressed and deprived of resources,” said Ann Bullock, a former director of diabetes treatment and prevention at the federal Indian Health Services agency and a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, told the New York Times.

See this income by race chart to see the correlation with race, income, and life expectancy.

Income by race

How Much Would You Pay To Live Longer?

The life expectancy spread between states with the highest and lowest life expectancies is between 10 to 20 years. You've got to ask yourself how much you'd be willing to pay to have 10 to 20 years more of life?

At age 45, I'd be willing to give up 70% of my net worth for 10 more years of life and 90% of my net worth for 20 more years of life. I've considered giving up all my net worth to live an extra 20 healthy years, however, then I wouldn't be able to take care of my family.

If life is priceless, paying more to live in an expensive city and state is worth it. For those who cannot afford to live in the most expensive cities and states, good thing there's a plethora of lower-cost options such as Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, and Southern Florida.

After publishing this post, I took my life expectancy analysis a step further after several commenters asked about race. Based on further analysis, if you want to live a rich and long life, you may want to marry an Asian person. Asian people live the longes in America and have the most wealth.

Below is a sad chart that shows the United States spending the most per capita on health while having the lowest life expectancy amongst countries with similar GDP per capita.

Life expectancy by countries similar to United States health spending

Invest In Low Cost, High Life Expectancy States

As the average age of Americans gets older due to declining birth rates, the investor in me thinks there will be a greater flow of capital to states with higher life expectancies. As a result, you may want to invest in real estate and companies based in states with the highest life expectancies.

Specifically, you want to focus on investing in lower-cost states with high life expectancies. These states are: Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan.

Higher life expectancies also create the need for more service-related businesses that cater to the elderly. Hence, investments in retirement homes, community living homes, low-impact sporting facilities, wellness centers, and entertainment should boom.

Living Longer In Hawaii Is My Goal

We plan to retire to Hawaii where half my family is from.

The problem is making the move since we've grown roots in California since 2001. Our window of opportunity may be in 2025, when our daughter is eligible for kindergarten. If 2025 doesn't work, we will consider 2031, when our son is eligible for high school.

Given the strong correlation between wealth and life expectancy, I now have an additional motivation to write more books and articles about how to build more wealth. Longer life expectancies lead to greater happiness and more contributions to society.

Now these are things worth living for!

Reader Questions and Suggestions

Do you believe there is a strong correlation with wealth, location, social influences and life expectancy? What do you think are the biggest reasons for such huge life expectancy discrepancies among states? What are some things you plan to do to increase your life expectancy?

Compare life insurance quotes in one place at Policygenius. Both my wife and I got new 20-year term policies with Policygenius during the pandemic and we feel more at peace. No matter where you live or how rich you are, life is not guaranteed.

For more nuanced personal finance content, join 60,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter and posts via e-mail. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. 

62 thoughts on “Your Life Expectancy Depends Greatly On Wealth And Location”

  1. Honest when comparing life expectacy internationally, make sure to add CAnada. We’re just north of you.

    I don’t think alot of Americans realize that Canadian life expectancy generally is greater than the U.S.

  2. If you are over age 45, I’d highly recommend doing the Mayo Clinic Executive Physical at least once. The first time you have it, it will take 2 days but some of the tests only need to be done once in your life. After your first one, you can decide how often you want to go back but my wife and I go every other year and do annual physicals/blood work with our regular doctor. I’ve never talked to anyone who has done the Mayo physical that regretted it even though much of it is not covered by health insurance. Mine was $4k out of pocket the first time and is about $1.5-$2k out of pocket on subsequent visits.

  3. Quite ironically, the best way to grow old, is to live longer. Studies say that if you can live to 65 years old, you will likely live beyond the averages. I recently covered the same topic.

  4. Finance Ronin

    I was researching this very question recently. Many poorer nations have similar or better life expectancies than the US. I was feeling kind of down about our relatively poor outcomes. Then I (selfishly) felt better when I saw the disparity in life expectancies based on location, income and US. The US is a big place. Averages across the US aren’t that informative.

  5. If you really want to live longer and healthier, here’s the red pill.

    ITP – Interventions Testing Program

    You can gain healthy extra years through science.

    1. I have a Ph.D in biomedical engineering from Hopkins. Here is my advice to live longer for folks on this site. You don’t need to stray too much with the general recommendations, but some extra testing does help a lot, and please test more frequently than your doctor recommends (they recommend less than optimal testing due to overall cost to society and worrying that patients can’t interpret the results accurately). If you are wealthy, you mostly will die from cancer or some form of neurological disease. Genetic testing will show your pre-disposition (23 and me). you can also order a yearly complete blood test from for less than $100 that will spot early signs of most diseases. Add an at home poop test-Cologuard for cancer (only test with DNA testing for colon cancer). Watch your skin for discoloration for early skin cancer and you should be pretty good to go. I found two health issues through this method (I was pre-clinical with no symptoms) and took the results to my doctor for treatment. (This likely increased my life expectancy by 10 to 15 years)

      1. All sage advice. Add 800-5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily and you have a plan to live beyond the average life expectancy.

        If you want to go 10 years beyond that, look at the results of the academic research from the National Institute of Health’s Interventions Testing Program. ITP.

        Rapamycin has shown to extend healthy lifespan of every model organism across 64 scientific studies at the most prestigious universities from MIT to UofM. It has a well established safety profile. For a human it is estimated to add 5-20 years of healthy life. The best place to start is

  6. Interesting article, Sam. I have read research that says Educational level is very important to life span. I think educational level may be more important than location (have you seen how old professors get? I swear I thought I saw one the other day that was 350 years old).

    Seriously, I think educational level and wealth are more important than location. Of course, Location is important too. States that dump hazardous materials near its citizens will, no doubt, cause cancer. And States that don’t want to provide quality health care to their people is also ridiculous. Of course, high crime cities are also not good for your health.

    Here’s an interesting test of your location analysis – Who would live longer; A wealthy physicist living in Mississippi or an illiterate cashier living in Hawaii?

    In the end, there’s a higher concentration of poor people in the South that significantly affects the overall life expectancy there. But I’m not 100% certain that the high poverty level in the South affects the Mass Affluent population that also lives there.

      1. LOL!!

        You probably don’t realize that all of the southeastern states (except Louisiana) have beaches too. Of course, Hawaii is the King of beach life. We all bow to its greatness.

    1. What about the illiterate Walmart stocker a doctor has the funds to live anywhere in the world as well as in Frisco and NY.

  7. Interesting write-up and point of view. I believe you purposely left out “quality of life” in your algorithm. Is the “quantity- years of life” the absolute highest value a given. Not sure I would agree. For example, how would you explain the hundreds of thousands of American lives lost in World War 2, when so many sacrificed their future to protect a way of life. Would I buy “years of living” for a monetary value, hmmm, would really have to better understand the cost. Maybe a generational value not well understood today.

  8. Ah Hawaii, just got back. Could not agree more with the chill feeling you get just feeling that tropical but not hot air. Just puts you in another state of mind.

    Surprisingly you can get more house for your money than in the Bay Area. Not sure I could do the island living though, but I’d sure like to.

    1. Very envious! I plan to go back by year end. My parents will be coming to visit in the meantime.

      Yes, home prices in Honolulu are about 20 to 30% cheaper than home prices in San Francisco.

  9. The Social Capitalist

    Another interesting article! FS, you won’t exactly say it but the numbers bear it out. Rural areas/low income and policies to deny healthcare to poor driven by Republican legislatures are having a negative impact on American life expectancy.
    Besides poverty, the South has less education, higher unwed pregnancies, less access to abortion, arguably more man made environmental disasters (lower scale but more plentiful due to state deregulation, (ie., OK and TN practically allow companies to flush hazardous materials). And of course, humidity/climate change plays a role- think wet bulb effect.
    One can argue all day long about the results but the means for changing them lay at the ballot box in our state officials. They weld the power that impacts our lives the most- and they fly under the radar.
    I wonder though – the South has done little to help itself since at least the 1990s, has the negative education feedback loop won? Has my area of country simply become too ignorant to understand the policy drivers destroying their chances to improve income and life expectancy? Unfortunately, it appears the question keeps getting answered.

  10. Leading cause of death in USA is heart disease. Only 6 percent of people with cardiac arrest outside hospital survive. Get checkup once a year by physician . Biggest risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels both easily treated with inexpensive generic medications. Food for thought.

      1. Genetics help. My mother and stepmother both just hit 100. They both eat what they want and never exercised a day in their life.

    1. Easily treated with bottom of the barrel generics oh what if I’m on Medicaid or Medicare in other words I can forgitaboutit a long life in Alabama.

  11. Are you including the primary residence in the average net worth? If so, then the numbers are skewed by location. I am not sure one’s value of their home is correlated to longevity.

    1. Financial Samurai

      You can always sell your property and then retire to a cheaper high-life expectancy state before or after retirement.

      Therefore, I’m in the camp the primary residence is always included in net worth.

    2. Soon Retired

      I plan to pay off my paid off hours worth $2.5 – $2.8 million next year, and buy a $1.5 million home in a lower cost state. The new house will be even nicer.

      My home absolutely should be included in net worth.

  12. Most of the states with the highest average household incomes have very major cities with high costs of living and most likely more wealthy people in those states skewing the average upwards. This is probably also true for the average net worth by state. It might be better to look at the median household income and median net worth by state.

    1. For sure, there is a correlation with higher income and higher cost of living. However, the income upside is much greater in larger cities. More opportunities to jump and advance.

      The median numbers are highly correlated with the average numbers.

  13. Yeah I live in an affluent area in Atlanta with a net worth way over the average. I think what I have in common with a poor rural Georgian is pretty minimal and have a lot more in common with a high net worth person from SanFrancisco.. so not sure ranking by state has much relevance for me. ( Also advanced degree so eat healthy, still running at 64, with excellent healthcare close by, not like rural Georgia hospitals that are suffering because the state refuses federal Medicaid dollars…

    1. I’m glad! At the end of the day, we are responsible for our health and life choices.

      And there is no certainty that just because one lives in a lower life expectancy state they will have a lower life expectancy and Vice versa.

      Most of us have the freedom to choose, which is all we can really ask for in this great country of ours.

    2. And the governor is of what party? Oh that’s doesn’t matter anymore their all the same people.

  14. Wow this is so incredibly thorough and insightful! Fascinating data. I can totally see how income and societal culture and politics can influence life expectancy. I get what you referenced about smoking because I’m so used to living in an area where nobody smokes that it’s so jolting to visit other places where people are smoking 2 packs a day. What a huge difference that has on health.

    I do enjoy living in an area where the majority of people are health conscious and also environmentally conscious. I do believe that our surroundings have a big influence on our lifestyles and resulting happiness.

  15. Mack Schmidt

    Fortunate enough to own property in different states (Colorado, Washington, California and Tennessee). Anecdotally, I can tell you my community in Tennessee is healthier, wealthier and better educated (high concentration of PhDs, business owners and fitness/recreation opportunities) than my community in either California or Washington. Same is true of almost every state, the best communities in a low ranking state exceed the average of a high ranking state. I lived in Hawaii for 8 years, as you know, there are plenty of unhealthy, undereducated, underinsured and overweight communities there as well.

  16. I’m a big fan of Financial Samurai. Can’t wait for your next book coming out. I think you ought to include one of the determinant that did not mention in the article that can make a person live longer, healthier and happier life is religion and having a sense of purpose in life.

  17. It’s crazy that America’s healthcare cost/capita is so high and getting higher. I’d love to see a breakdown as to why it’s so much higher than, say, Western European.

    Is it quality of care?
    Does it include elective procedures?
    Is it pre-existing health conditions? Obesity?
    Is it boosted by extra admin costs because of the insurance vs. state coverage method?
    Is it because regular patients are sharing costs for all that innovative medical equipment?
    Is it medication cost due to American doctors over prescribing drugs, or the R&D costs of the drugs themselves?

    1. A lot of reasons, but with pharma its because the US allows unlimited monopoly for way to long at any margin the seller wants to, that is not allowed in Western europe (ie the US is subsidizing most research globally). The US is also much more obese, and walks less (drives more). We also spend way more on end of life care (1/2 of healthcare expense in US is the last 6 months of someone’s life). We’ve also allowed monopolies or oligopolies in medicine without pricing regulations and we also don’t have transparency with pricing.

      Sam – if you adjust states for race, a lot of the anomolies you see go away, and you also notice that the life expectancy differences aren’t as large as you see from the raw data (ie African Americans have lower life expectancy and are more concentrated in the South and Southeast).

          1. It’s not so much what I think. I would look to the data to understand if there is a variance by race. If there is, it may help to explain the differences by location and let your readers decide if it is a greater factor or not.

  18. Higher incomes attract better health care facilities. It’s probably something of a feedback loop, too.

    We plan to move at some point after retirement, and what makes it somewhat limiting is wanting to be within fairly short range of an excellent hospital and decent range of a major airport.

    Especially while still meeting all the other criteria on our list.

  19. Would the same life expectancy numbers be the same if we simply compared an individual’s networth to one’s life expectancy rather than looking at state averages? Is there any reason to believe that a higher networth person in Mississippi has a lower life expectancy than a low networth person in California?
    The same turns out to be true for the covid vaccines. Health User Bias (HUB) nearly accounts for all of the perceived efficacy and easily explains the differences among states.

  20. My brother lives in McLean VA – right by Tysons. It’s a super nice area with the best shops and restaurants for sure. But the traffic there sucks unless you go further west into Sterling etc. and can avoid 495 altogether. Traffic creates a lot of stress and can lead to health issues if you have to continually deal with it.

  21. Wayward traveler

    Have you tried to look at other factors beside income for life expectancy….maybe something multi-variant. I think this approach might be too simple..

      1. Health care obviously, poor, mostly red states provide the worst Medicare and Medicaid. They often reject the Feds offers of subsidizing them.

  22. “Wealth is concentrated in Northern Virginia, near Washington D.C, where life expectancy is high.”

    That’s a very tough area to judge, given so many people in NOVA come from other states. It begs the question, is long life determined on where one retires (access to healthcare)? Where one grows up (health and well being during formative years)? Where the wealthy and healthy tend to aggregate anyway (correlation does not equal causation)? Etc.

    1. “so many people in NOVA come from other states.” is that the case? Why would people from other states come to NOVA?

      NOVA is close to the federal government centers that award huge contracts to businesses.

      1. I’m surprised by your. Government workers (military and political) come in and out of there all of the time. There is a tremendous amount of turnover. I myself was in and out of there (as a military officer). But I also knew plenty of civilians and they themselves admit every time there is a new President, hordes of folks come and go. Some percentage stick around and retire.

        But the uber point is, NOVA (like quite a few other areas) doesn’t provide much insight as it’s a hodgepodge of transplants.

        1. Sounds good. What are some other things you disagree with regarding the life expectancy data and why?

          I never knew people came in and out of NOVA. I thought it was people going in and out of DC and back to NOVA and the Maryland suburbs. Or living and working in NOVA.

          So thank you for your insights. Where exactly did you work and do in NOVA?

      2. We arrived in Arlington VA 1978 because DC is where all the money is kept. Tysons was a mystery why was a mall built in pasture. Everyone in NOVA is from somewhere else. I worked for VATECH in Manassas the drive from Arlington to Manassas on I66 and rt 28 was pine trees. 1981 worked for PEPCO in DC to 2015. Now NOVA is 4 BR colonials and townhouses from the Potomac river to the mountains to past Fredericksburg. NOVA good place to make money like Detroit in 1960s. EPIC TRAFFIC !

  23. Hi Great article. Just one little issue. These states are: Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Idea.

    1. The Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the longest-running studies on happiness, health, and aging. It began in 1938 with 268 Harvard sophomores and has followed them and their descendants ever since. The study’s director, Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School, has revealed that the MAIN FINDING is that close relationships with family, friends, and social circles are the key to happiness and well-being. Check it out. Fascinating that social connection has the highest correlation with health and even longevity. Yes, the study did start with mostly white, male, privileged Harvard students. But the study was expanded to other racial, social status, income, gender etc long ago. Sam has emphasized before problems associated with lonliness. Thanks you Sam.

      1. The Social Capitalist

        Sure. But what plays a factor in family/ social circles? Wealth, access to events and activities, and access to healthcare.
        Can’t live in a trailer with a dead father and mom with cancer working a minimum wage job and state that if these people just had more friends it would all be ok.
        The effect is circular – wealth breeds social circles, or rather policies that relieve inequities do, and Harvard study seems to discount this.

        And don’t get me wrong- I’m advocating for more close relationships.

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