Life expectancy in the US has risen to a new high of 78 years and two months, according to statistics released by the Centers for Disease and Control. The new statistics are for a baby born in 2009 and are based on almost all the death certificates for 2009.
About 2.4 million people died in the United States in 2009, about 36,000 fewer than the year before, says the New York Times reports. This is the tenth straight year that life expectancy in the US has increased, notes Health Digest, which also notes:
Life expectancy was up two-tenths of a year for males (75.7 years) and up one-tenth of a year for females (80.6 years). Life expectancy for the U.S. white population increased by two-tenths of a year. Life expectancy for black males (70.9 years) and females (77.4 years) was unchanged in 2009. The gap in life expectancy between the white and black populations was 4.3 years in 2009, two-tenths of a year increase from the gap in 2008 of 4.1 years.
Currently, Japan, Hong Kong, Iceland, Switzerland and Sweden have the highest life expectancy rates for males and females on average.
You can read the CDC’s report here (as a PDF file). The report cites the 15 leading causes of death, with #1-7 being diseases of the heart, malignant neoplasms, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
Also in 2009, the infant mortality rate hit a record low of 6.42 deaths per 1,000 live births. This isa drop of nearly 3 percent from 2008.
Photo by Orin Zebest.