How Long Will You Live?

Nobody knows how long they will live, right?

And yet — the U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project thinks it can give you a pretty good idea.  Go to the website, type in your address, and you will receive a life expectancy, plus a comparison with your area, your state, and the entire nation.  It’s best to enter your complete address; I first tried just my zip code and got my county’s life expectancy.  By entering my address, I gained a year and a half!  The bad news is I’m still about five months under the national average.

This number is based on the idea that where you live affects how long you will live.  The latest data down to the census tract level show significant differences in the same areas.  For example, the highest life expectancy neighborhood in the U.S. is Chinatown in New York City (93.6 years), yet the lowest is Roosevelt Island in the same city (59 years), despite being less than 10 miles apart.

Fortunately for me, I’m thinking, these data don’t account for individual differences, like diet, exercise, tobacco use, et cetera.  But this is very useful for planning purposes, like where health clinics need to be located.

And for us average citizens, it’s an interesting exercise.

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