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40 Cities with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US

In this article, we look at 40 cities with the lowest life expectancy in the US. You can skip our section on developments in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to enhance longevity and head over directly to 10 Cities with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US.

Average lifespan in the US climbed from just 47 years in 1900 to nearly 79 in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic struck. After that, it saw a decline for two consecutive years, driven by increased cases of drug overdose and effects of Covid-19 according to a report by Harvard University. Life expectancy in the US plunged to 77 years in 2020, before further slumping to 76 years in 2021. However, in 2022, expectancy rebounded to 77.5 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Despite the fluctuations, life expectancy in the US is still well higher than the global average which is 71 years. This is due to the general advancement in research and development in America’s pharmaceutical sector, and the surge of biotechnology companies in the country that are producing drugs which are proving effective in battling life-threatening diseases.

Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RXRX), a clinical-stage biotechnology in Salt Lake City, Utah, uses artificial intelligence to reinvent drug discovery by decoding biology and integrating it with advancements in various other areas such as chemistry, data science, and machine learning. The main aim of Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RXRX) is to speed up pharmaceutical development by producing an AI platform that lowers the time and cost spent on drug development. This year, German pharmaceutical firm, Bayer AG, announced that it was pledging $1.5 billion to work on seven oncology and cancer treatment related projects with Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RXRX).


Biophytis S.A. (NASDAQ:BPTS) on the other hand specializes in developing therapeutics to slow down the degenerative processes that are associated with aging and improve the health of patients that are suffering with severe respiratory diseases. Biophytis S.A. (NASDAQ:BPTS)’s most advanced clinical program currently in development is Sarconeos (BIO101), a lead drug candidate for the treatment of neuromuscular diseases.

Based on tests performed during animal and cellular studies, according to Biophytis S.A. (NASDAQ:BPTS), Sarconeos activates MAS receptors that stimulate biological resilience through improved muscle function. In May 2023, it was reported that Biophytis S.A. (NASDAQ:BPTS) was gearing up for phase III of Sarconeos trial in the EU, in which the company would evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the drug on patients of sarcopenia who are at risk of mobility disability.

Moreover, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) is actively working on exploring ways to counter life-threatening chronic diseases. In December 2023, the FDA announced that it had approved Jaypirca, an anti-cancer drug developed by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) for the treatment of lymphocytic leukemia. This is the first-ever non-covalent BTK inhibitor to be approved by the FDA. According to Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY), Jaypirca can be used for treating cancer patients who have had at least two rounds of therapy.

Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:DNLI) has made progress in its efforts to pursue treatments aimed at improving the lives of patients suffering from Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:DNLI) was founded in 2013 and is still a young company which relies on collaboration agreements with other companies for its revenue, which it uses to finance its research. Biogen in 2020 reached an agreement with Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:DNLI) to jointly work to develop the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) program for patients of Parkinson’s. Denali received $560 million in payment and $465 million in equity investment from Biogen under the contract.

40 Cities with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US
40 Cities with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US



Cities with the lowest life expectancy in the US are ranked in descending order of the average lifespans at birth in these cities. Major metropolitan areas with a population of 250,000 or more have been considered in our analysis. Data has been sourced from a 2023 report by Moneygeek. Often two or more cities had the same life expectancy; in those cases, population sizes were used as a tiebreaker, with cities with higher populations superseding those with lower populations.

If interested, you can also take a look at the 40 Cities with the Highest Life Expectancy in the US.

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Let’s now head over to the list of metropolitan cities with the lowest life expectancy in the US.

40 Cities with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US

40. Wichita, KS

Principal City: Wichita

Life Expectancy: 77.5

Life expectancy in Kansas has declined by 3.7 years between 2012 and 2022, from 78.9 years to 75.2 years. While lifespans in Wichita remain higher than the state average, it still ranks among large metropolitan cities with the lowest life expectancy in the US.

39. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Principal City: Cincinnati

Life Expectancy: 77.4

Life expectancy in Cincinnati varies greatly depending on the neighborhood you live in. For instance, on Brokensound Lane, residents can expect to live up to 88 years – nearly a decade more than the national average – while On West Eighth Street, average lifespans are around 62 years – as low as in Afghanistan. 

38. Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX

Principal City: Waco

Life Expectancy: 77.3

The Waco metropolitan area in Texas has a population of over 295,000 residents, who on average are expected to live for a little over 77 years. 

37. Peoria, IL

Principal City: Peoria

Life Expectancy: 77.3

Residents in Peoria, Illinois are expected to live for over 77 years at birth. Heart disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory illnesses are the major causes of death in the metropolitan city.

36. Oklahoma City, OK

Principal City: Oklahoma City

Life Expectancy: 77.3

Next on our list is Oklahoma City with a life expectancy of 77.3 years. This, however, is still higher than the state average in Oklahoma of 74.1 years. 

35. Dayton-Kettering, OH

Principal City: Dayton

Life Expectancy: 77.2

Life expectancy in the Dayton metro area can vary by as much as 20 years depending on the neighborhood you are based in. In Old North Dayton, the average lifespan of residents is only 61 years. 

34. Corpus Christi, TX

Principal City: Corpus Christi

Life Expectancy: 77.2

Corpus Christi’s population is estimated to be over 318,000 people, with 50.29% of them being women. On average those born in this metro city live about three months less than the national average in the US.

33. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

Principal City: New Orleans

Life Expectancy: 77.2

New Orleans is among cities with the shortest life expectancy in the US, with an average lifespan of 77.2 years. Residents in the Hoffman Triangle neighborhood have the shortest lifespan of only 61 years, while in the Lakeview neighborhood, people can expect to live up to 88 years of age.

32. Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN

Principal City: Nashville

Life Expectancy: 77.2

The Nashville metropolitan area, which includes Davidson, Murfreesboro, and Franklin has a population of over 2 million people. Residents at birth here have a life expectancy of 77.2 years, which is two years higher than the state average in Tennessee. 

31. Pittsburgh, PA

Principal City: Pittsburgh

Life Expectancy: 77.2

Life expectancy in Pittsburgh is slightly higher than the state average of 76.8 years in Pennsylvania. Despite that, with an average span of 77 years, it ranks below other large cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Bridgeport where residents are expected to live for about 83 years on average.

30. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR

Principal City: Fayetteville

Life Expectancy: 77.1

Life expectancy in Fayetteville is about four months shorter than the national average in the United States. 

29. Winston-Salem, NC

Principal City: Winston

Life Expectancy: 77.1

The Winston-Salem metropolitan area in North Carolina has a population in excess of 675,000 people who on average have a life expectancy of slightly over 77 years. 

28. South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI

Principal City: South Bend

Life Expectancy: 76.9

The South Bend-Mishawaka metropolitan area has a population of over 319,000 people, with a majority of them based around the city of South Bend in Indiana. According to WNDU, women tend to live longer than men in the city with a lifespan gap of nearly 6 years. 

27. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

Principal City: Deltona

Life Expectancy: 76.8

The Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach metropolitan statistical area in Florida is among cities with the lowest life expectancy in the US with an average lifespan that is nine months shorter than the national average.

26. Rockford, IL

Principal City: Rockford

Life Expectancy: 76.7

Americans born in Illinois’ Rockford metropolitan area have a life expectancy one month shorter than the state average, and a lifespan that is 10 months shorter than their compatriots in other parts of the United States.

25. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Principal City: Las Vegas

Life Expectancy: 76.6

The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million people. While Las Vegas continues to remain a place for people to get rich, it is also where the poor die younger compared to the national average in the United States.

24. Springfield, MO

Principal City: Springfield

Life Expectancy: 76.5

Life expectancy has been on decline in Missouri, having dropped from 77.8 years in 2012 to 74.6 years in 2022. Residents born in the southwestern city of Springfield can expect to live longer (76.5 years), but that is still a year shorter than the national average in the country.

23. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC

Principal City: Augusta

Life Expectancy: 76.5

The Augusta-Richmond County metropolitan area comprises parts of the states of Georgia and South Carolina. The city has a population of over 600,000 people. Life expectancy in this part of the country is 76.5 years at birth.

22. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL

Principal City: Pensacola

Life Expectancy: 76.5

The Pensacola metropolitan area has been going through severe health concerns over the last few decades. According to Geostat, about 10.5% of the population suffers from diabetes, while one-thirds have high blood pressure. More than 29% of the residents in Pensacola have obesity. 

21. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA

Principal City: Shreveport

Life Expectancy: 76.4

The Greater Shreveport metropolitan area has a population of nearly 400,000 people. Residents born in Shreveport are expected to live one year and one month less than their compatriots in other parts of the United States.

20. Lafayette, LA

Principal City: Lafayette

Life Expectancy: 76.4

Lafayette is the third largest metro city in Louisiana. People born here are expected to live for an average of 76.4 years.

19. Lubbock, TX

Principal City: Lubbock

Life Expectancy: 76.4

Residents born in the Lubbock metropolitan area of Texas are likely to live one-year less than an average American. 17.7% of the population in Lubbock do not have health insurance. The smoking rate is 15.8%.

18. Tulsa, OK

Principal City: Tulsa

Life Expectancy: 76.4

Tulsa is the second most populous city in Oklahoma, with a population of over one million residents. Life expectancy in the city is 76.4 years according to Moneygeek. 

17. Lynchburg, VA

Principal City: Lynchburg

Life Expectancy: 76.3

Lynchburg ranks among cities with the lowest life expectancy in the US, with cancer and heart diseases being the two most common causes of death. According to US News, nearly one-fifths of Lynchburg’s population smoke tobacco, which is likely to be a trigger for high cancer and cardiovascular disease rates.

16. Amarillo, TX

Principal City: Amarillo

Life Expectancy: 76.3

Amarillo in Texas is popular for being a cowboy town and has a rich history of ranching and horsing. The city, however, is also known for increased cases of deaths caused by drunk-driving – which is one of the leading causes for premature deaths in the metropolitan area.

15. Savannah, GA

Principal City: Savannah

Life Expectancy: 76.3

Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia, and has a population of over 400,000 people, who at birth are expected to live for 76.3 years, a little over a year lower than the national average. Obesity is a major health concern in the state, with about more than one-thirds of the population affected. 

14. Greenville-Anderson, SC

Principal City: Greenville

Life Expectancy: 76.2

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in the Greenville metropolitan area, affecting about 116 persons per 100,000 people, followed by heart diseases at second. 

13. Roanoke, VA

Principal City: Roanoke

Life Expectancy: 76.2

Roanoke in Virginia has one of the lowest life expectancies in the US. 11.1% of the population in the metro city has no health insurance. Heart disease is prevalent among 6.3% of the residents in Roanoke, compared to 6.1% in the US and 5.2% in the state.

12. Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, PA

Principal City: Scranton

Life Expectancy: 76.1

Residents born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on average live 1.4 years less than their compatriots in the United States. It is among cities with the shortest life expectancy in the US.

11. Jacksonville, FL

Principal City: Jacksonville

Life Expectancy: 76.1

The life expectancy in Florida is 78.6 years, which is 1.1 years higher than the national average in the US. Residents in Jacksonville have a lifespan at birth which is less than both the state and the national averages.

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Disclosure: None. 40 Cities with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.