What's the difference between living in Minnesota and living in Mississippi? About seven years.

It sounds like some kind of weird joke, but according to a new study, it's no laughing matter. That's because there's a massive disparity among U.S. states in terms of how long people live

People in Minnesota live the longest in the United States: 78.7 years old on average. Mississippi ranked 51st (the study includes Washington, D.C.). Live expectancy there is just 71.8 years. That's a 9.6 percent difference.

This truly is a fascinating study, pulling together reams of data to create "the most comprehensive state-by-state health assessment ever undertaken," according to a press release. (The study itself was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.) It's unusual because most big studies examine the United States as a whole, and yet there's a vast disparity of health and longevity among the states.

The biggest thieves robbing years from people's lives? You already know them: tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and bad diets.

Below, you'll find all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, ranked from highest life expectancy to lowest.

We're also including benchmarks: the average life expectancy of people living in various foreign countries, as compiled in the separate World Health Organization's 2016 report on global life expectancy. 

1. Minnesota: average, 78.7 years

2. California: average, 78.6 years

3. Connecticut: average, 78.4 years

4. Hawaii: average, 78.4 years

5. Colorado: average, 78.1 years

6. New York: average, 78.1 years

7. Washington State: average, 78.1 years

(Benchmark--Croatia: average, 78.0 years)

8. Massachusetts: average, 77.9 years

9. Utah: average, 77.9 years

10. New Jersey: average, 77.8 years

(Benchmark--Albania: average, 77.8 years)

11. New Hampshire: average, 77.7 years

12. Vermont: average, 77.6 years

(Benchmark--Bosnia and Herzegovina: average, 77.4 years)

13. Oregon: average, 77.4 years

14. Wisconsin: average, 77.3 years

15. Idaho: average, 77.2 years

16. Iowa: average, 77.2 years

17. Nebraska: average, 77.2 years

18. North Dakota: average, 77.2 years

19. Rhode Island: average, 77.2 years

20. Arizona: average, 77.1 years

(Benchmark--Uruguay, average: 77.0 years)

21. Florida: average, 77.0 years

22. Virginia: average, 77.0 years

23. Maryland: average, 76.8 years

24. Montana: average, 76.8 years

(Benchmark--Mexico: average, 76.7 years)

25. South Dakota: average, 76.7 years

26. Illinois: average, 76.6 years

27. Maine: average, 76.5 years

28. Delaware: average, 76.2 years

29. Wyoming: average, 76.2 years

30. Kansas: average, 76.1 years

31. Texas: average, 76.1 years

(Benchmark--Vietnam: average, 76.0 years)

32. Pennsylvania: average, 76.0 years

33. Alaska: average, 75.9 years

34. Nevada: average, 75.9 years

35. Michigan: average, 75.6 years

(Benchmark--Iran, average: 75.5 years)

36. North Carolina: average, 75.4 years

37. Ohio: average, 75.1 years

38. Washington, DC: average, 75.1 years

39. New Mexico: average, 75.0 years

40. Missouri: average, 74.9 years

(Benchmark--Nicaragua: average, 74.8 years)

41. Georgia: average, 74.8 years

42. Indiana: average, 74.8 years

43. South Carolina: average, 74.2 years

(Benchmark--Dominican Republic: average, 73.9 years)

44. Tennessee: average, 73.5 years

45. Arkansas: average, 73.3 years

46. Kentucky: average, 73.2 years

47. Oklahoma: average, 73.2 years

48. Louisiana: average, 72.9 years

(Benchmark--Libya: average, 72.7 years)

49. West Virginia: average, 72.7 years

50. Alabama: average, 72.6 years

(Benchmark--Bangladesh, 71.8 years)

51. Mississippi: average, 71.8 years

Published on: Jun 11, 2018