The United State of America is a large country with varying geographical features, climates and cultures. So, it’s no surprise that life expectancy is longer in some states than others. The south is famous for its tasty fried food and most residents rely on cars to get around. Northeastern cities are more likely to rely on public transit and walking. Western states have weather that appeals to outdoor enthusiasts. The variations in lifestyle, climate and public health care conspire to create the 6.3-year difference between the state with the shortest life expectancy and the one with the longest.
Hawaii has the longest life expectancy in the country with an average of 81.3 years. Several factors contribute to this, a big one being that most residents have health insurance. Forty years ago, Hawaii was the first state to make companies provide mandatory health care coverage for their employees. Any business with more than 10 employees working 20 hours a week is required by this law. There are also clinics for low-income residents who still struggle with medical coverage, although there is a gap in positive outcomes. Native Hawaiians do not fare as well. These residents go to the doctor more often, but survival rates for colon and breast cancer are higher. Many Hawaiians are also of East Asian ancestry and they have lower death rates for many common diseases. Their diet is also more influenced by the East, with more emphasis on fish and vegetables.