These Cities Offer The Best Chance For A Long Life

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When it comes to long life, not all cities are created equal, as some seem to possess a fountain of youth not found in others 

April 15, 2016

John L. Wiley, flickr Creative Commons

Humans have been obsessed with immortality and living as long of a life as possible for centuries. Books like Tuck Everlasting or Dracula are just two examples of stories where immortality plays heavily into the story. Heck, if popular legend is to be believed, the Spanish explorer Ponce de León even spent some of his life searching for the fountain of youth in Florida.

While immortality may be the stuff of fiction, our preoccupation with it is still rather revealing; humans desire long life. This desire has become ingrained in many of us; we instinctively reach for a bottle of water over a can of pop or order a salad instead of the if-you-can-eat-all-of-this-it’s-free burger. A healthy lifestyle gives someone the best chance for a long life.

A big part of a person’s lifestyle comes from the place in which they live. A new study conducted by Stanford, MIT, Harvard, McKinsey, and the U.S. Treasury claims to have found the best places to live in terms of life expectancy for specific income levels.

The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at income versus life expectancy in a sample involving over 1.4 billion person-years of observation of Americans between the ages of 40 and 76, Livability.com reports. Then, the study compared the taxes people earned to life expectancy and where they lived and found places that were better than the rest for living longer depending on your income.

For example, for the 25 percent of Americans who earn the least, New York City ranked as the number one city for the chance of a long life. Men have an average life expectancy of 79.5 years and women have a life expectancy of 84 years. New York was also ranked as the second best state overall for living a long life.

Santa Barbara, Calif. was number two on the list. While it is known as a very expensive place to live, the bottom quartile has almost the same average life expectancy as New York at 79.4 years for men and 84 years for women.

However, if you are in the top 25 percent of earners nationally and want to move to a place live a long life, might not be heading to New York or Santa Barbara. Instead, Salt Lake City, Portland, and Spokane are the top three cities for life expectancy. Men in Salt Lake City have a life expectancy of 86.6 years while women have a life expectancy of 89 years.

Overall, the top five cities with the longest life spans, regardless of income, were Santa Barbara, Calif.; Portland, Maine,; Spokane, Wash.; Eugene, Ore.; and Santa Rosa, Calif.

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