Highest and lowest life expectancy by county and sex (US), 1989-2009
With this interactive tool, view the highest and lowest life expectancies by county, sex, and black or white race. See how between 1989 and 2009 some counties made steady progress while others fluctuated from year to year.
Tips for using this tool are provided under the “how to explore” tab below.
- You can change the indicators displayed in the chart by clicking the axis labels on the left side and underneath the chart. Choosing “male_life_expectancy” on the y-axis and choosing “female_life_expectancy” on the x-axis will enable you to see trends in life expectancies for both men and women in US counties over time.
- On the lower right, select specific counties that interest you.
- Choose either a bar, line, or bubble chart in the top right corner.
- For the bar and bubble charts, hit play and watch changes over time. You can click on the timeline to start the chart at a specific year (for example, clicking about halfway along the timeline will allow you to hit play and begin the visualization at 1999).
- Once you've selected specific counties that interest you, click the tool symbol in the bottom right corner and try lowering the opacity of the nonselected countries to isolate counties of interest.
- The life expectancy gap between black Americans and white Americans is closing, especially in urban areas. Between 1989 and 2009, black male life expectancy improved by nearly a decade to 71.2 years, and white male life expectancy improved at a slower rate to 76.7 years, a 5.5-year gap. Select a bubble chart and choose “male_life_expectancy_white” on the y-axis and “male_life_expectancy_black” on the x-axis. Choose “Bronx, NY” from the list of counties on the right and click play to see how black men improved their life expectancy from 58.5 in 1989 to 71.6 in 2009, while the life expectancy of white men improved less over this time period, from 67.4 years to 76.7 years.
Data and Methods
Data for download
Life Expectancy US Counties 1989-2009 (3.72MB xls)