Life expectancy by county and sex (US) with country comparison (Global), 1989, 1999, 2009
With this interactive map, explore life expectancy in US counties in 1989, 1999, and 2009 compared to the rest of the world. In some counties, lifespans rival some of the nations where people live the longest, while in other counties, life expectancies are lower than nations that spend far less on health care.
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 upper right-hand corner to watch the map change over time. The colors of the counties and countries show the life expectancy ranges in those places, 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.” When you select a specific county, countries with similar life expectancies to that county will be highlighted on the global map. You can also click on a country to see counties that have similar life expectancies to that country.
- 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.
- Click on any county in the United States and see which nations around the world shared a similar life expectancy in 1989, 1999, or 2009. Click on a nation and see if there is a county that shared a similar life expectancy. Choose male life expectancy by clicking on the “male” button. Go to the search window and type in Collin, Texas. Now scroll over the country that is highlighted in blue in the lower screen. See that Collin – one of the counties where men live the longest in the US – shares a life expectancy of about 80.5 years for men with Iceland, the nation with the best male life expectancy in the world. As a contrast, choose McDowell, West Virginia, and watch as Pakistan and Nepal turn blue. All of them have very low life expectancies at about 66 years for men.
- Choose “female” and type Montgomery, Maryland – one of the counties with the longest female life expectancies in the US – into the search window. Down below, you will see France turn blue, one of the nations where women live the longest globally. Both share a life expectancy for women of about 85 years. If you type in Sunflower, Mississippi, though, you will see the Turkey and Jordan turn blue, countries where women live about 74 years on average, among the lowest within the US and very low globally as well.
Data and Methods
Data for download
Life Expectancy US Counties 1989-2009 (3.72MB xls)