Could one’s surroundings have an impact on how long one will live? If you’re looking to increase your chances of living a longer life, then you may want to relocate to Hawaii or Washington. According to recent data, these two states have the longest life expectancy of all 50 U.S. states.
U.S. States With Longest Life Expectancy
A recent NiceRx study found that Hawaii has the longest life expectancy of all 50 states, with residents living an average of 80.7 years in 2020.
The following are the 10 U.S. states with the longest life expectancy:
4. California (tie)-79
5. Massachusetts (tie)-79
6. New Hampshire (tie)-79
7. Oregon (tie)-78.8
8. Vermont (tie)-78.8
9. Utah – 78.6
10. Vermont – 78.4
Now, while Hawaiians are expected to live longer, the study noted that the state’s life expectancy has declined in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), this decline can be attributed to COVID-19 deaths, as well as deaths due to “unintentional injuries, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, suicide, and homicide.”
Why do Hawaiians live longer?
There are a few reasons as to why Hawaiians have the longest life expectancy out of all the U.S. states.
1. Low obesity rate
According to research, Hawaii has one of the lowest obesity rates in America. According to findings released last year, Hawaii came in at 47 out of 51 for the least obese state, with Hawaii ranking as one of the top states with the lowest percentage of obese adults and the lowest percentage of overweight children.
Studies have indicated that obesity can take years off of your life and this is because it increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and certain kinds of cancers. Therefore, the low obesity rate found in Hawaii may be one of the reasons behind the state’s high life expectancy rate.
2. Low smoking rate
In regards to the state’s smoking rate, Hawaii sits at 12.30% of its resident adults smoking. At 7.90%, Utah has the lowest smoking rate out of all U.S. states, while West Virginia has the highest rate with 23.80% respectively.
According to the CDC, smoking can reduce a smoker’s life expectancy by 10 years. This is because smoking increases the risk for a number of chronic diseases that include certain kinds of cancers, stroke, heart disease, lung diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Thankfully, quitting smoking before the age of 40 can significantly reduce your risk of dying from smoking-related diseases, so it would be best to embark on a journey that will help you quit smoking.
3. Low depression rate
Mental health conditions can have a significant effect on life expectancy, with a Lancet study revealing that mortality rates were higher for Danish people with a mental health disorder diagnosis than for the general population.
Aside from an increased risk of suicide, poor mental health can also increase the chances of one making poor lifestyle habits that can be detrimental to one’s health.
That said, statistics have shown that Hawaii has the lowest depression rate in the U.S. at 11.76%.
4. A near-universal healthcare system
An adequate healthcare system can help individuals to live a long and healthy life by providing the necessary tools and resources to prevent as well as better manage any health conditions or disorders. With policies that insure residents receive the necessary healthcare for little to no charge, Hawaii has been applauded for having one of the best health system performances in the world.
As studies have indicated that adequate access to healthcare can increase life expectancy, Hawaii’s healthcare policies may be one of the contributing factors to the state’s high life expectancy rate.
Should I move to Hawaii?
Preferably not, especially because residents of Hawaii are concerned about the strain of resources that the tourism industry places on the country.
Rather, adopt lifestyle habits that Hawaiians practice like getting enough fresh air, and sunshine, regular exercise, and consuming a plant-based diet rich in fruits, fish, and vegetables. It would also be advisable to quit smoking and engage in activities that boost your mental health, like socializing and journaling.
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Troy Squillaci
Hao, L., Xu, X., Dupre, M.E. et al. (2020). Adequate access to healthcare and added life expectancy among older adults in China. BMC Geriatr 20, 129. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-020-01524-9
Plana-Ripoll, O., Pedersen, C. B., Agerbo, E., Holtz, Y., et al. (2019). A comprehensive analysis of mortality-related health metrics associated with mental disorders: a nationwide, register-based cohort study. Lancet (London, England), 394(10211), 1827–1835. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32316-5