U.S. Life Expectancy Rose to Record High in 2009
ATLANTA (AP) -- "U.S. life expectancy has hit another all-time high, rising to 78.2 years (see chart above). The estimate of 78 years and 2 months is for a baby born in 2009, and comes from a preliminary report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 2.4 million people died in the United States in 2009 - roughly 36,000 fewer deaths than the year before. Deaths were down for a range of causes, from heart disease to homicide, so experts don't believe there's one simple explanation for the increase in life expectancy. Better medical treatment, vaccination campaigns and public health measures against smoking are believed to be having an impact.
U.S. life expectancy has been generally increasing since at least the 1940s, though some years it held steady and a few times it temporarily dipped.
HT: Robert Kuehl