Saturday, July 20, 2013

South Dakota Is An Outlier, But In A Good Way

The Daily Beast reports on a CDC study that looks at life expectancy in all 50 states. According the the study, residents of Hawaii have the longest life expectancy and those living in Mississippi the lowest. The states with the lowest life expectancy are mostly in the South. They also share other traits:
Whether causation, correlation, or just coincidence, according to a Daily Beast analysis of the CDC data against other population and quality-of-life metrics, the states where Americans can expect to live the longest, healthiest lives are also largely states that lean left politically and whose residents rank highest in overall happiness. Likewise, many states where the CDC found people are expected to live shorter and less healthy lives are politically conservative states with low happiness listings and low median incomes.
While sharing many of the traits of low life expectancy states, South Dakota ranks among the top states in life expectancy:
Residents of Florida, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as Hawaii, have healthy life expectancies of 15 years or more after the age of 65, according to the CDC.
Ten of those 13 states voted for President Obama in the 2012 presidential election and are considered politically liberal states, with the exception of Utah, South Dakota, and Arizona.
The cynic in me wants to speculate that we're a state of masochists, but since South Dakota is 11th happiest state, it appears happiness does act like a medicine.

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