Where in America Do Women Live the Longest?

Yup, we totally get why women are living long, happy lives in Hawaii

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.

Rank State Age
1 Hawaii 84.8
2 Minnesota 83.3
3 California 82.8
4 Florida 82.7
4 New York 82.7
6 Arizona 82.6
6 North Dakota 82.6
8 Massachusetts 82.5
8 South Dakota 82.5
10 Connecticut 82.4
11 Colorado 82.2
12 Iowa 82
12 Utah 82
14 New Jersey 81.9
15 Wisconsin 81.8
16 New Hampshire 81.7
16 Washington 81.7
18 Rhode Island 81.6
18 Vermont 81.6
20 New Mexico 81.5
21 Nebraska 81.4
22 Maine 81.3
22 Oregon 81.3
24 Illinois 81.2
25 Alaska 81
25 Delaware 81
25 Idaho 81
28 Pennsylvania 80.9
28 Virginia 80.9
30 Kansas 80.8
30 Texas 80.8
32 Maryland 80.7
33 Montana 80.6
34 Michigan 80.4
35 Indiana 80.3
35 Wyoming 80.3
37 Missouri 80.2
37 Nevada 80.2
39 Ohio 80.1
40 North Carolina 79.9
41 Georgia 79.8
42 South Carolina 79.5
43 Tennessee 79.1
44 Kentucky 79
45 Arkansas 78.9
46 Louisiana 78.6
47 Alabama 78.3
47 Mississippi 78.3
49 Oklahoma 78.2
50 West Virginia 78.1


Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007

See the State of Women methodology and sources.

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