Want to live longer? Move to New York

New Yorkers can add another item to an ever-growing list of things to feel vastly superior about: Their life expectancy is quickly outstripping the rest of the country’s, recently overtaking ulta-healthy Boston. Here’s what that looks like in chart form, via Boston radio station WBUR:



For decades, the whole state of Massachusetts has had a life expectancy well above the rest of the country’s. That’s no surprise: It has the highest level of medical spending by per capita, not to mentioned - since 1996 - guaranteed issue of health insurance.

New York City, meanwhile, was accustomed to trailing the rest of the country in life expectancy by a full three years through the 1980s. That changed in the 1990s for two main reasons, according to The Lancet, a British medical journal: The city’s murder rate dropping 75 percent and new antiretroviral therapies that could combat the cities AIDS epidemic.

The next decade saw the advent of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s public health crusade, replete with public smoking bans and restrictions on trans fats. Between 1987 and 2009, Manhattan’s life expectancy rose by 10 years, the largest increase of any country. The four other counties that make up New York City are also now in the top percentile.


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Ezra Klein · June 19, 2012