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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Life Expectancy at Birth

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., 1980-2017

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In Utah, life expectancy at birth for males increased from 72.4 years in 1980 to 78.0 years in 2017, and for females from 78.6 to 81.8 years. In comparison, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. rose from 70.0 to 76.1 years for males, and from 77.4 to 81.1 years for females (from 1980 to 2016).

Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2017
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • American Community Survey

Data Notes

The method developed by C.L. Chiang was used to compute life expectancy.   [[br]][[br]] U.S. 2016 estimate from NVSR Volume 67, Number 5.

Risk Factors

Life 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 2016 increased from 46.3 to 76.1 years for men, and from 48.3 to 81.1 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 12.0 to 18.0 years and among women from 15.0 to 20.6 years between 1950 and 2016. 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: 11/08/2018

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 20 August 2019 21:16:18 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:28 MDT