Even your lifespan can be local.
Researchers have long said that health disparities are heavily influenced by where you live. New data from the National Center for Health Statistics show just how much your neighborhood can impact the length of your life. Long Island details appear in the map below.
The Associated Press analyzed life expectancy and demographic data from 2010 to 2015 for 65,662 census tracts, which are geographic areas that encompass roughly 4,000 residents, and found that certain demographic qualities — high rates of unemployment, low household income, a concentration of black or Native American residents and low rates of high school education — correlated with life expectancy in most neighborhoods.
Life expectancy on Long Island
- 85 and above
Zoom in and scroll to your neighborhood, or click on the magnifiying glass at lower left to enter a specific address (remember to add NY at the end, and you may have to hit “Enter” twice. Click on any Census tract for details.
Unshaded areas are sparsely populated or have no residents.
An increase of 10 percentage points in the unemployment rate in a neighborhood translated to a loss of roughly a year and a half of life expectancy, the AP found. A neighborhood where more adults failed to graduate high school had shorter predicted longevity. A neighborhood with a larger percentage of black residents can have a lower life expectancy because blacks historically have had a lower life expectancy than whites. In 2011, life expectancy for white men nationally was 76.6 years while for black men it was 72.2 years, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The AP chose these demographic markers because they had large correlation with life expectancy. However, other demographic factors not included in the analysis may also exist that affect life expectancy at the local level. For example, American Indian and Alaska Native populations have a significantly higher mortality than other races in the United States.
New York State had the largest range for life expectancy among its neighborhoods, spanning 34.5 years. The places with the highest and lowest estimates are both in New York City. Children born between 2010 and 2015 in part of the northern half of Roosevelt Island have an estimated life expectancy of 59 years; a child born 6 miles away in Chinatown in lower Manhattan can expect to live 93.6 years. On Long Island, a tract in North Bellport had the lowest life expectancy, 73.2 years, while Shelter Island had the highest, 92.9 years. You can read more about the Long Island numbers here.
In one North Carolina neighborhood — Fearrington Village in Chatham County — a child born between 2010 and 2015 can expect to live 97.5 years, the highest estimated lifespan for any neighborhood in the U.S. A child in part of Stilwell in Adair County, Oklahoma, can expect 59 years on average, the nation’s lowest. The AP analysis also found discrepancies among states.
Life expectancy in Hawaii topped all other states at 82 years. Mississippi’s estimate of 74.9 was the lowest, followed closely by West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
The AP analyzed 88.7 percent of all U.S. census tracts. Maine and Wisconsin were excluded because some of their death records lacked home addresses of the deceased. The data is part of a new partnership between the National Center for Health Statistics, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Through the collaboration, researchers used six years of death records and demographic data to create a longevity estimate for nearly every census tract in the country.
In recent years, the United States has seen overall life expectancy decrease, from 78.7 years in 2015 to 78.6 years in 2017. Experts have pointed to opioid addiction and an increase in suicides as the main reasons.