Wednesday, September 2, 2009
U.S. Life Expectancy Hits All-Time High—Deaths All-Time Low
Americans may not be living as long as the Japanese, whose estimated life span is 83 years, but we are gaining ground. According to a new report by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, average life expectancy in the U.S. hit a record high of 77.9 years in 2007, the latest year that data from death certificates has been compiled. Both men and women set new records, with life expectancy now 75.3 years for men and 80.4 years for women. And, for the first time, life expectancy for black males reached 70 years.
The increase in mortality can be attributed to a drop in death rates. The number of deaths in the U.S. in 2007 was 2,423,995, a 2,269 decrease from 2006. And the overall death rate fell to a record low of 760 deaths per 100,000 people, 2.1 percent lower than the 2006 rate of 776.5. This marks the eighth consecutive year the mortality rate has fallen, and is half of what it was 60 years ago (1532.0 in 1947).