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New Study: When It Comes To Life Expectancy, Where You Live Matters


A new study confirms that when it comes to life expectancy, income matters: The richest American men live 15 years longer than the poorest men, and the richest American women live 10 years longer than the poorest women. But the study also contains some surprises.

The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the poor in some geographical areas live nearly as long as their wealthier neighbors while the longevity gap is widening in other geographical areas.

In Sedgwick County, for example, life expectancy for a poor 40-year-old resident – one with an annual household income below $28,000 – is 77.6 years. That’s eight years fewer than a resident with more than $100,000 in annual household income.

It appears the difference has less to do with access to health care or levels of income inequality and more to do with whether the poor live in affluent areas with highly educated populations and high levels of government expenditures.