Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Where You Live & When You'll Die

Geography is not the biggest factor in determining how long you can expect to live. However where you live in America can effect your life expectancy by up to twenty years. Being born in the USA already puts you at a disadvantage to people born in the 30 countries (such as Chile, Costa Rica & South Korea) which have a higher life expectancy than the United States. If you are then unfortunate enough to be born in the wrong U.S. county then you can knock another 20 years of your expected life (compared to the counties with the highest life expediency).

You can view the life expectancy at birth for each county in the USA on the University of Washington's US Health Map. A choropleth layer shows the life expectancy for every county in the country. You can also hover over a county to view its life expectancy and the life expectancy for the state and the whole of the USA.

FiveThirtyEight has used the same data (life expectancy at birth 1980-2014) to compare the life expectancy in each state to the U.S. average. Life Expectancy in Each State vs. U.S. Average is a cartogram which represents each state with a small line graph. Each line graph shows the state's life expectancy over time from 1980-2014 and compares it to the U.S. average over the same period of time.

The cartogram provides an effective visualization showing which U.S. states have higher or lower life expediencies than the country average. You can also see which states are improving or falling behind over this time period compared to the country average.

The US Health Map is not just a visualization of life expectancy data. You can also use the University of Washington's map to visualize data on 29 cancers, 21 major causes of death, Smoking, Obesity, Physical Activity, Alcohol Use, Hypertension and Diabetes.

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