Public Health
6:10 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Arkansas Life Expectancy Rates Lower Than Most Of U.S.

Figure shows average life expectancy (in years) for the entire population of each state at age 65.
Credit cdc.gov

Findings from a newly released study show that Arkansas has some of the lowest life expectancy rates in the country and one of the largest disparities of life expectancy between white and black populations.

The report by the from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention measured life expectancy after the age of 65. Man-Huei Chang, head of the CDC's Division of Epidemiology helped compile the data. She says the study also measured healthy life expectancy across the nation.

“Healthy life expectancy is the number of years that people can expect to live in good or better health. You can say a healthy life expectancy accounts for both quality and quantity of the life,” she notes.

Chang says on average people in the U.S. can expect to live about 19 more years after age 65 with 14 of those years in good health.“However Arkansas's life expectancy is about 18.1 years and healthy life-expectancy is about 12.2 years,” says she.

The study also shows that in Arkansas the average life-expectancy for whites at age 65 is 18.2 years and for blacks 16.7 years. Healthy life expectancy also showed a disparity.

The data compiled came from a few sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, breaking down averages for both life expectancy and healthy life expectancy for males, females, whites and blacks in all 50 states.