Life expectancy by county and sex (US), 1989-2009
With this interactive map, explore trends in life expectancy in the United States between 1989 and 2009. You can see that while women are living longer overall, men have made more progress during this time period. In fact, men in nearly every county live longer today than they did 20 years ago. Click the play button in the bottom right-hand corner to watch the map change over time.
Tips for using this tool are provided under the “how to explore” tab below.
- Choose to display life expectancy for males or females on the upper right-hand side of the map.
- Click the play button in the bottom right-hand corner to watch the map change over time. You can also move year-by-year by clicking on “Previous” or “Next” in the lower left-hand side of the map. The colors of the counties show the life expectancy ranges in those counties, and a key for the colors is at the top of the map.
- To focus on a specific county, type the name of the county in the “Find County” text box in the upper left of the map. Choose the county you’d like from the list displayed. You can also click on a county on the map, and the name of the county you’ve selected will be displayed both in a pop-up window on the map and in the text box next to “Find County.” Hit play and watch the life expectancy in the county you’ve selected change over time.
- When you select a county by clicking on the map or by typing the name of the county in the “Find County” text box, a pop-up window will display on the map pointing to the county you’ve selected. This window lists the state name, the county name, the life expectancy for that year, and “Behind top county (years),” which indicates how many years this county is behind the county with the highest life expectancy for that year for either men or women.
- Choose "Find Me" at the top of the map to see the life expectancy of the county you're currently in. If your county doesn't display, you may need to allow your Web browser to track your location.
- In Washington State, the average life expectancy in King County in 2009 was 83.2 years for women and 79.2 years for men. In 2009, Washington’s Island County had the highest life expectancy for women at 84.1 years, and Island County had the highest life expectancy for men at 80.9 years. The lowest life expectancies in Washington in 2009 were found in Grays Harbor County for both women (79.3 years) and men (74.2 years).
- See how New York County in New York had the most improved life expectancy for both women and men between 1989 and 2009. Type "New York" in the "Find County" text box and scroll down until you see "New York - New York." Select this county and click “Female” on the upper right-hand side of the map. Hit play and see how life expectancy for women increased from 77 years in 1989 to 84.2 years in 2009. Now select “Male” on the upper right-hand side of the map. Hit play and see how life expectancy for men increased from 65.4 years in 1989 to 79 years in 2009.
- To see the counties with the longest life expectancies in 2009, choose Collier County, Florida, for women and Marin County, California, for men.
- To see the counties with the shortest life expectancies in 2009, choose McDowell, West Virginia, for women and Quitman, Mississippi, for men.
Data and Methods
Data for download
Life Expectancy US Counties 1989-2009 (3.72MB xls)