The average life expectancy in the United States is 78.8 years, with women generally having a longer life expectancy than men. Most gaps in life expectancy can be explained by the risk factors that people engage in. The disparity between men and women, for example, is because women tend to engage in less risky behavior than men, and suffer fewer vehicular accidents.

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People living in the Southern United States are more likely to be smokers, which is a leading cause of death. A 2016 American Cancer Society study found that cigarettes contribute to one in four cancer deaths in the country. Most of the 10 states with the highest attributable cancer deaths were located in the South, which explains why many of the states with the lowest life expectancies can also be found across the region.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.