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Wednesday, January 18, 2023


U.S. Cities With the Longest Life Expectancy

By Samanda Dorger (January 18, 2023)

There are places in the world where people seem to live longer than most.

Some researchers over the past 20 years have dubbed these places Blue Zones, and they often have an unusual number of people over 90 or even 100 years old. These so-called Blue Zones are: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

Loma Linda is a city in southern California of less than 25,000 people. Nearly half the residents are Seventh-Day Adventists, a Christian denomination that observes cultural health and diet practices that generally eschew alcohol, tobacco and meat.

Developed countries have greater longevity; in Japan, for example, life expectancy in 2021 was 84.8 years. Average life expectancy in the U.S. through 2021 was 77.2 years, a big drop from 2019’s 79.1 years. It’s also a lower number than a lot of other developed countries.

Still, back in 1880, life expectancy in the U.S. was barely 40 years.

Lifestyle is certainly a factor in longevity, but genetics and gender play a role, as well as environment: the availability of food and clean water, better housing and living conditions, reduced exposure to infectious diseases, and access to medical care have certainly improved our outlook since the 1800s.

The authors who wrote about the Blue Zones found that the residents of the communities have several things in common such as: less smoking, a plant-heavy diet, constant moderate physical activity, social engagement, less alcohol, more whole grains, plenty of sunshine, and empowered women.

Still, a 2021 article in Science Based Medicine asserts the claims of longevity in Blue Zones may be based on fraud and error, due to things like poor record-keeping and bad memories. The author, Harriet Hall, (also known as The SkepDoc) is a retired family physician who says that Loma Linda’s longevity might just be due to the fact that people who are richer tend to live longer and that similar longevity might be found in other well-to-do locations. (The median household income in Loma Linda is $63,272.)

This list of the U.S. cities where people live longest is based on data on life expectation for the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. in terms of population, as analyzed by StorageCafe, a site that provides storage unit listings nationwide. The data is for 2018-2020, and comes from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Loma Linda is in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, which ranks No. 45 of 100, with a life expectancy of 78.8 years. The median income of this metro is $77,018, 10% higher than the U.S. median of $69,717.

These are the 30 American cities with the longest life expectancy.


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