Why Is This Important?Life expectancy is a measure that is often used to gauge the overall health of a community. Life expectancy at birth measures health status across all age groups.
Shifts in life expectancy are often used to describe trends in mortality. Being able to predict how populations will age has enormous implications for the planning and provision of services and support. Small increases in life expectancy translate into large increases in the population.
As the life expectancy of a population lengthens, the number of people living with chronic illnesses tends to increase because chronic illnesses are more common among older persons.
Life Expectancy at Birth by Sex, Utah and U.S., 1980-2015
In Utah, life expectancy at birth for males increased from 72.4 years in 1980 to 78.2 years in 2015, and for females from 78.6 to 81.4 years. In comparison, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. rose from 70.0 to 76.4 years for males, and from 77.4 to 81.2 years for females (from 1980 to 2014).
- Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2015
- Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
- National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Community Survey
Data NotesThe method developed by C.L. Chiang was used to compute life expectancy. [[br]][[br]]
U.S. 2014 estimate from NVSR Volume 65, Number 4.
Risk FactorsLife expectancy at birth is strongly influenced by infant and child mortality.
How Are We Doing?Prevention and control of infectious diseases has had a profound impact on life expectancy during the 20th century. In the United States life expectancy at birth from 1900 to 2014 increased from 48 to 76.4 years for men, and from 51 to 81.2 years for women. In contrast to life expectancy at birth which increased sharply early in the century, life expectancy at age 65 improved primarily after 1950. Among men, life expectancy at age 65 rose from 12 to 18 years and among women from 12 to 20.5 years between 1900 and 2014. Improvements in nutrition, hygiene, and medical care contributed to decreases in death rates throughout the lifespan.
What Is Being Done?Now that people are living longer, it is important to look at ways that those added years can be lived in good health. Exercise, healthy diet and weight, not smoking, moderate use of alcohol, and injury prevention habits such as wearing seat belts all contribute to a healthy life span.
Improvements in life expectancy increase the proportion of older individuals living in society. Policy-makers must be aware of this trend in order to provide viable and attractive options for elderly persons who require assistance with activities of daily living.
Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 12/09/2016
- by Sex, Utah and U.S., 1980-2015
- by Ethnicity, Utah, 2011-2015 and U.S. 2014
- by Utah Small Area, 2011-2015, and U.S. 2014
- by Local Health District, Utah, 2011-2015 and U.S. 2014
- by Race, Utah, 2011-2015 and U.S. 2014