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States where people live the longest

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Ben Sutherland // flickr

States where people live the longest

The average life expectancy in the United States is 79.68 years, with women generally having a longer life expectancy. In 2012, the average life expectancy for men was 76.4 years, while the average for women was 81.2 years. Most gaps in life expectancy can be explained by the risk factors that people engage in. The disparity between men and women, for example, is because women tend to engage in less-risky behavior than men, and suffer fewer vehicular accidents.

People living in the southern United States are more likely to be smokers, which is a leading cause of death. A 2016 American Cancer Society study found that cigarettes contribute to one in four cancer deaths in the country. Most of the 10 states with the highest attributable cancer deaths were located in the south, which explains why many of the states with the lowest life expectancies can also be found across the region.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation developed a list of life expectancy at birth for men and women using data from 2009 Measure of America calculations, which utilized mortality counts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. Using this information, Stacker ranked each state according to average life expectancy, from lowest to highest.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in your state.

RELATED: Healthiest cities in America

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Kemberly Groue // U.S. Air Force

#51. Mississippi

Average life expectancy: 75.0 years
Female life expectancy: 78.0 years
Male life expectancy: 71.9 years

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Andreas Lehner // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Alabama

Average life expectancy: 75.4 years
Female life expectancy: 78.2 years
Male life expectancy: 72.6 years

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Chelsea Smith // U.S. Air Force

#49. West Virginia

Average life expectancy: 75.5 years
Female life expectancy: 78.1 years
Male life expectancy: 72.8 years

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ericmcgregor// flickr

#48. Louisiana

Average life expectancy: 75.7 years
Female life expectancy: 78.6 years
Male life expectancy: 72.7 years

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David Poe // U.S. Air Force

#47. Oklahoma

Average life expectancy: 75.9 years
Female life expectancy: 78.5 years
Male life expectancy: 73.3 years

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USDAgov // flickr

#45. Kentucky (tie)

Average life expectancy: 76.0 years
Female life expectancy: 78.5 years
Male life expectancy: 73.4 years

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Buffalo Outdoor Center // flickr

#45. Arkansas (tie)

Average life expectancy: 76.0 years
Female life expectancy: 78.8 years
Male life expectancy: 73.1 years

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Knox County Government // flickr

#44. Tennessee

Average life expectancy: 76.3 years
Female life expectancy: 79.0 years
Male life expectancy: 73.5 years

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tedeytan // flickr

#43. District of Columbia

Average life expectancy: 76.5 years
Female life expectancy: 80.1 years
Male life expectancy: 72.8 years

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Pixabay

#42. South Carolina

Average life expectancy: 76.9 years
Female life expectancy: 79.8 years
Male life expectancy: 74.0 years

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Pixabay

#41. Georgia

Average life expectancy: 77.2 years
Female life expectancy: 79.7 years
Male life expectancy: 74.6 years

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mypubliclands // flickr

#40. Missouri

Average life expectancy: 77.5 years
Female life expectancy: 80.1 years
Male life expectancy: 74.9 years

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Pixabay

#39. Indiana

Average life expectancy: 77.6 years
Female life expectancy: 80.0 years
Male life expectancy: 75.1 years

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Pixabay

#38. Ohio

Average life expectancy: 77.7 years
Female life expectancy: 80.2 years
Male life expectancy: 75.2 years

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Aubrey White // U.S. Air Force

#37. North Carolina

Average life expectancy: 77.8 years
Female life expectancy: 80.4 years
Male life expectancy: 75.1 years

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mypubliclands // flickr

#36. Nevada

Average life expectancy: 78.1 years
Female life expectancy: 80.6 years
Male life expectancy: 75.6 years

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Michigan Municipal League (MML) // flickr

#35. Michigan

Average life expectancy: 78.2 years
Female life expectancy: 80.7 years
Male life expectancy: 75.7 years

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Pixabay

#34. Delaware

Average life expectancy: 78.3 years
Female life expectancy: 80.7 years
Male life expectancy: 75.9 years

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USFWS Mountain Prairie // flickr

#31. Wyoming (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.4 years
Female life expectancy: 80.8 years
Male life expectancy: 76.0 years

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Kyle E. Gese // U.S. Air Force

#31. Texas (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.4 years
Female life expectancy: 80.8 years
Male life expectancy: 76.0 years

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mypubliclands // flickr

#31. Alaska (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.4 years
Female life expectancy: 80.4 years
Male life expectancy: 76.3 years

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Diego Cervo // Shutterstock

#28. Pennsylvania (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.5 years
Female life expectancy: 81.1 years
Male life expectancy: 75.8 years

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Andrey Bayda // Shutterstock

#28. New Mexico (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.5 years
Female life expectancy: 81.3 years
Male life expectancy: 75.6 years

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Pablo F. J. // flickr

#28. Montana (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.5 years
Female life expectancy: 80.6 years
Male life expectancy: 76.4 years

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Pixabay

#26. Maryland (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.7 years
Female life expectancy: 81.3 years
Male life expectancy: 76.1 years

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Senator McCaskill // flickr

#26. Kansas (tie)

Average life expectancy: 78.7 years
Female life expectancy: 81.0 years
Male life expectancy: 76.3 years

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ESB Essentials // Shutterstock

#25. Illinois

Average life expectancy: 78.9 years
Female life expectancy: 81.4 years
Male life expectancy: 76.4 years

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Tobyotter // flickr

#24. Virginia

Average life expectancy: 79.0 years
Female life expectancy: 81.3 years
Male life expectancy: 76.6 years

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Librarygroover // flickr

#23. Maine

Average life expectancy: 79.2 years
Female life expectancy: 81.5 years
Male life expectancy: 76.8 years

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dconvertini // flickr

#19. South Dakota (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.5 years
Female life expectancy: 82.4 years
Male life expectancy: 76.6 years

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Pixabay

#19. Oregon (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.5 years
Female life expectancy: 81.8 years
Male life expectancy: 77.2 years

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mypubliclands // flickr

#19. Idaho (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.5 years
Female life expectancy: 81.6 years
Male life expectancy: 77.4 years

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Elvert Barnes // flickr

#19. Florida (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.5 years
Female life expectancy: 82.3 years
Male life expectancy: 76.6 years

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Aleksandra Suzi // Shutterstock

#18. North Dakota

Average life expectancy: 79.6 years
Female life expectancy: 82.3 years
Male life expectancy: 76.9 years

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Pixabay

#16. Iowa (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.7 years
Female life expectancy: 82.0 years
Male life expectancy: 77.3 years

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Pixabay

#16. Arizona (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.7 years
Female life expectancy: 82.1 years
Male life expectancy: 77.2 years

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Weekly Dig // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Rhode Island (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.8 years
Female life expectancy: 82.3 years
Male life expectancy: 77.2 years

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Christopher Gross // U.S. Air Force

#14. Nebraska (tie)

Average life expectancy: 79.8 years
Female life expectancy: 81.9 years
Male life expectancy: 77.7 years

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Pixabay

#13. Washington

Average life expectancy: 79.9 years
Female life expectancy: 82.0 years
Male life expectancy: 77.8 years

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Edgar G Biehle // Shutterstock

#11. Wisconsin (tie)

Average life expectancy: 80.0 years
Female life expectancy: 82.4 years
Male life expectancy: 77.5 years

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Pixabay

#11. Colorado (tie)

Average life expectancy: 80.0 years
Female life expectancy: 82.2 years
Male life expectancy: 77.8 years

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MarkDoliner // flickr

#9. Utah (tie)

Average life expectancy: 80.2 years
Female life expectancy: 82.1 years
Male life expectancy: 78.3 years

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CJ Sorg // flickr

#9. New Jersey (tie)

Average life expectancy: 80.2 years
Female life expectancy: 82.5 years
Male life expectancy: 77.8 years

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Pixabay

#8. New Hampshire

Average life expectancy: 80.3 years
Female life expectancy: 82.5 years
Male life expectancy: 78.0 years

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Pixabay

#5. Vermont (tie)

Average life expectancy: 80.4 years
Female life expectancy: 82.6 years
Male life expectancy: 78.2 years

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Pixabay

#5. New York (tie)

Average life expectancy: 80.4 years
Female life expectancy: 82.8 years
Male life expectancy: 77.9 years

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Pixabay

#5. Massachusetts (tie)

Average life expectancy: 80.4 years
Female life expectancy: 82.7 years
Male life expectancy: 78.1 years

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Pixabay

#4. California

Average life expectancy: 80.7 years
Female life expectancy: 83.1 years
Male life expectancy: 78.3 years

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Ben Sutherland // flickr

#3. Connecticut

Average life expectancy: 80.8 years
Female life expectancy: 82.9 years
Male life expectancy: 78.6 years

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U.S. National Archives // flickr

#2. Minnesota

Average life expectancy: 81.0 years
Female life expectancy: 83.3 years
Male life expectancy: 78.7 years

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View Apart // Shutterstock

#1. Hawaii

Average life expectancy: 81.4 years
Female life expectancy: 84.7 years
Male life expectancy: 78.0 years

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