California Life Expectancy Falls 2 Years as State Drops in National Rankings

Hawaii tops the list again for oldest-growing Americans, while California falls behind Washington and Minnesota

The life expectancy of Californians at birth has dropped by about 2 years, from 80.9 to 79, according to the latest National Vital Statistics Report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An analysis of mortality rates and other data from 2020 produced complete period life tables for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, showing that life expectancy declined for all of them.

California’s relatively long life expectancy from birth ranked No. 2 behind Hawaii in last year’s report, and now it has dropped to No. 4, behind Washington and Minnesota—although those states are just barely ahead at 79.2 and 79.1 years, respectively.

“Life expectancies shown are rounded, but rankings are based on unrounded life expectancies,” the report clarifies.

The Golden State still ranks No. 2 for longest life expectancy at birth for women at 82 years. Meanwhile, men in California are now expected to live until 76.2 years-old, compared to 78.4 in last year’s report.

Hawaii, on the other hand, is No. 1 across the board, with an 80.7 year life expectancy for people in general, while men born there are expected to live until 77.6 and while women can in hang in until 83.8.

On a national level, the life expectancy of a person from birth in the United States is 77 years, though for males that number is slightly lower, at 74.2 years. Women in the U.S. have a life expectancy of 79.9 years.

“Overall, life expectancy in the United States declined by 1.8 years from 2019 to 2020, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increases in unintentional injuries (mainly drug overdose deaths),” the report states.

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