According to Consumer Affairs, Florida has the highest percentage of senior citizens of any state in the United States (Maine is second.)
It makes sense, then, that a high number of Florida's population are retirees who want to make the most of their golden years. For many, a good retirement is one that includes low-stress living, access to quality health care, and the ability to maintain an active lifestyle.
These things not only make life pleasurable, but they might help contribute to a longer life. And that might be why no fewer than 3 Florida cities have recently been found to be among the best places to live for longevity.
What Contributes to a Place Having High Longevity?: Studies that have looked at longevity in different places throughout the United States have found that generally speaking, residents living in urban areas tend to have life expectancies higher than those who live in rural areas. The studies have theorized that perhaps residents of urban areas have higher-paying jobs, better educations, and therefore, better access to health care, which would theoretically improve longevity.
Determining Which Cities in the United States Have the Longest-Living Residents: The website MoneyGeek recently analyzed data from county health rankings for metropolitan areas with 250,000 residents or more. Using that data, MoneyGeek ranked cities in terms of highest longevity to lowest.
How Did Florid Fare?: Florida had mixed results in this survey, but for the most part, it performed well, with 3 out of the top 10 places where residents live the longest.
Those places were:
#7 out of 10. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach with an average life expectancy of 82.5
#8 out of 10. Cape Coral-Fort Myers with an average life expectancy of 82.5
#9 out of 10. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton with an average life expectancy of 81.9
That said, 2 places in Florida made the list of the 25 worst places for longevity.
Those places were:
#11 out of 25. Jacksonville with an average life expectancy of 76.1
#24 out of 25, Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent with an average life expectancy of 76.5.
Additional Information: MoneyGeek is one website looking at one set of data. For confirmation, we can look at additional data to see if there are trends or agreements in the data.
In 2019, the National Bureau of Economic Research also found that parts of Florida had favorable longevity, seemingly confirming the MoneyGeek data. The researchers in that study noted that the places which scored well for longevity had "... less extreme climates (and) less pollution..."
Lower Pollution in Florida and a Health-Friendly Climate: According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in 2021, Florida "met all ambient air quality standards and rank(ed) atop the most populated states in the U.S. for clean air" for two years in a row.
The climate in Florida can feel hot to some, but it is also somewhat predictable. For the most part, the average daily temperatures range from the 50s in the winter to the mid to high-80s in the summer, so the state generally doesn't have wild swings in its climate.
These two factors might be in agreement with the National Bureau of Economic Research's findings, which found that climate and pollution affected an area's longevity.
The Rest of the List: Here is the rest of MoneyGeek's list that includes the best and worst 10 places in the United States for longevity:
The Best (the last number is the average life expectancy):
1 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT, 83.0
2 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA, 82.9
3 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, 82.8
4 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, 82.6
5 Urban Honolulu, HI, 82.5
6 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL, 82.5
7 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL, 82.5
8 San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA, 82.2
9 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL, 81.9
10 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO, 81.8
1 Jackson, MS, 74.4
2 Mobile, AL, 74.4
3 Birmingham-Hoover, AL, 74.6
4 Montgomery, AL, 74.7
5 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX, 75.2
6 Memphis, TN-MS-AR, 75.5
7 Knoxville, TN, 75.5
8 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR, 75.6
9 Spartanburg, SC, 75.9
10 Chattanooga, TN-GA, 76.0
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