Photograph by Cory Richards, Nat Geo Image Collection
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A woman visits the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Photograph by Cory Richards, Nat Geo Image Collection

If you're an average American, you'll live to be 78.6 years old

Life expectancy varies widely from state to state and country to country. See how your state or country compares to others.

On average, Americans live 78.6 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based on data from 2017. Life expectancy in the U.S. has declined over the last four years, a disturbing trend that U.S. health officials attribute to the rise in deaths from suicide and drug overdoses.

How do the states stack up against each other and against countries around the world? National Geographic looked at the numbers and found some intriguing results. In the United States, Hawaiians live the longest, at 81.5 years, while Singaporeans have the longest average life spans in the world, at almost 85 years.

After Hawaiians, people in California live the longest, at 80.9 years, while people in Mississippi have the shortest lives of any Americans, at 74.5 years. Across the 50 states and the District of Colombia, the range of life expectancies spans seven years.

Life Expectancy

Across Borders

Hawaii has the highest life expectancy of all the U.S. states, at more than 81 years. Expected lifespans in 20 countries are even greater than that – Singapore, at almost 85 years, has the highest.

Life expectancy

at birth, 2017

Netherlands

81.5

Hawaii

Belgium

81.4

States that are above the U.S. value are in green while the ones that are below are in red.

Bermuda

81.3

81.2

81.1

Slovenia

81

U.K.

80.9

California

80.8

Denmark

New York

80.7

Minnesota

80.6

Connecticut

Germany

80.5

New Jersey

80.4

Peru

80.3

80.2

Qatar

80.1

Colombia

80

79.9

Colo., Mass., Vt., Wash.

Taiwan

79.8

79.7

Chile

79.6

79.5

Costa Rica

Wisconsin

79.4

Iowa

79.3

Jordan

Rhode Island, Utah

79.2

Oregon

Czechia

79.1

Ariz., Fla., Nebr., N.H., Va.

79

Idaho, Illinois

78.9

Turkey

Nicaragua

78.8

Maryland

78.7

78.6

United States

78.5

Croatia

North Dakota, Texas

Cuba

78.4

78.3

Tunisia

Albania

Delaware, Kansas

78.2

Maine, P.R., S.D.

78.1

Thailand

Pennsylvania

78

Poland

77.9

Nevada, Wyoming

77.8

North Carolina

Algeria

77.7

Alaska

77.6

New Mexico, Michigan

77.5

Sri Lanka

77.4

Iran

77.3

77.2

Georgia

77.1

China

D.C., Missouri

77

Uruguay

Indiana

76.9

Montana

Saudi Arabia

Hungary

76.8

76.7

Argentina

Macedonia

76.6

Ohio

76.5

Montenegro

76.4

76.3

76.2

South Carolina

76.1

Paraguay

76

Tennessee

75.9

Cabo Verde

75.8

75.7

Serbia

75.6

Armenia

75.5

Mexico

Ark., La., Okla.

75.4

75.3

Venezuela

Romania

75.2

75.1

75

Kentucky

Lithuania

74.9

Alabama

Bulgaria

74.8

West Virginia

Mauritius

74.7

Malaysia

74.6

Mississippi

Vietnam

74.5

Of all the U.S. states, Mississippi has the shortest life expectancy, at a bit less than 75 years. Life expectancy in 105 countries is even shorter than that, with Central African Republic having the shortest at slightly less than 52 years.

TAYLOR MAGGIACOMO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: Institute

for Health Metrics And Evaluation at the

University of Washington

Life Expectancy Across Borders

Hawaii has the highest life expectancy of all the U.S. states, at more than 81 years. Expected lifespans in 20 countries are even greater than that – Singapore, at almost 85 years, has the highest.

Life expectancy at birth, 2017

Netherlands

81.5

Hawaii

Belgium, Finland, Maldives, Portugal

81.4

Bermuda

81.3

States that are above the U.S. value are in green while the ones that are below are in red.

81.2

81.1

Slovenia

81

Greece, Malta, United Kingdom

California

80.9

80.8

Denmark

New York

80.7

Minnesota

80.6

Connecticut

Germany

80.5

New Jersey

80.4

Peru

80.3

80.2

Qatar

80.1

Colombia

80

79.9

Colo., Mass., Vt., Wash.

Taiwan

79.8

79.7

Chile

79.6

79.5

Bahrain, Costa Rica

Wisconsin

79.4

Iowa

79.3

Jordan

Rhode Island, Utah

79.2

Oregon

Czechia

79.1

Ariz., Fla., Nebr., N.H., Va.

79

Idaho, Illinois

78.9

Turkey

Nicaragua

78.8

Maryland

78.7

78.6

United States

78.5

Croatia

North Dakota, Texas

Cuba

78.4

78.3

Tunisia

Albania

Delaware, Kansas

78.2

Puerto Rico, South Dakota

78.1

Estonia, Thailand

Maine, Pennsylvania

78

Lebanon, Poland

77.9

Nevada, Wyoming

77.8

North Carolina

Algeria

Alaska

77.7

77.6

New Mexico, Michigan

77.5

Sri Lanka

77.4

Iran, Slovakia

77.3

77.2

Georgia

77.1

Barbados, China, Oman

District of Columbia, Missouri

77

Antigua & Barbuda, Uruguay

Indiana

76.9

Montana

Saudi Arabia

Hungary

76.8

76.7

Argentina, Ecuador, Iraq

Macedonia

76.6

Ohio

76.5

Montenegro

76.4

76.3

76.2

N. Mariana Is., South Carolina

76.1

Paraguay

76

Tennessee

75.9

Cabo Verde

75.8

75.7

Serbia

75.6

Armenia

75.5

Brazil, Mexico, St. Lucia

Brunei

Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma

75.4

75.3

Venezuela

Latvia, Romania

75.2

75.1

75

Kentucky

Lithuania

74.9

Alabama

Bulgaria

74.8

Mauritius

West Virginia

74.7

Jamaica, Malaysia

74.6

Mississippi

Vietnam

74.5

Of all the U.S. states, Mississippi has the shortest life expectancy, at a bit less than 75 years. Life expectancy in 105 countries is even shorter than that, with Central African Republic having the shortest at slightly less than 52 years.

TAYLOR MAGGIACOMO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: Institute for Health Metrics And Evaluation at the University of Washington

Comparing the states to countries leads to some intriguing pairings. Hawaiians live just as long as the Dutch. New Yorkers live as long as Danes. People in Wisconsin have the same life spans as Costa Ricans. And Alaskans and Algerians live to the same age.

The latest federal health statistics distressed officials. Generally, life expectancy steadily improves in developed countries, as better health care and standards of living lead to healthier lives.