People in different states have different lifespans; many factors go into that including obesity rates, smoking, income, and access to healthcare, among others.

24/7 Tempo researched the issue of lifespans in the 50 states.

They reviewed data on longevity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on life expectancy at birth as of 2020, the most recent year for which data is available.

Supplemental data on the percentage of adults over 18 who are obese (defined as having body mass index greater than or equal to 30) or current smokers, and the percentage of those who report no leisure-time physical activity.

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Photo via BartekSzewczyk

Data on median household income are one-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.

New Jersey is a pretty prosperous state, so you would think we’d rank high on the longevity list. Not so much; we’re more in the middle of the pack at 19th.

Here are New Jersey’s stats:

> Life expectancy at birth: 77.5 years
> Adult obesity rate: 27.7% (6th lowest)
> Adult smoking rate: 11.1% (4th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically inactive: 20.2% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $89,296 (3rd highest)

So, there you have it: if you live in New Jersey, you can expect to live 77.5 years.

That one category of physically inactive adults must really hurt us, because in all the other metrics, we’re in the top ten.

Hawaiians live the longest, their life expectancy is 80.7 years. Island living must be good!

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Coming in last was everybody’s punching bag, Mississippi, which seems to land at the bottom of any national survey; well, at least surveys of good things. They have the highest adult obesity rates.

West Virginia is second to worst and they have the highest smoking rate, as well as the second highest obesity rates.

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