A gap of 10 years

Health Inequality Project map

The Albany area ranks #59 among the nation's 100 biggest commuting areas. / map from The Health Inequality Project

The life-expectancy for a 40-year-old person making $89,000 or more in Albany County is 85.6 years (and up).

The life-expectancy for a 40-year-old person making $33,000 or less in Albany County is 80.5 years (and down).

And the gap in life-expectancy for people in the highest and lowest 10 percent of the income range in Albany County: almost 10 years.

Those bits are from new work out this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association from a group of researchers at institutions such as Stanford, MIT, and Harvard that looks at differences in life-expectancy across the United States.

One of their findings is that high-income people pretty much have the same (high) life-expectancy wherever they live -- but there's a wide range for low-income people across different parts of the country. The map above depicts some of those differences.

From an article about the research over at NYT:

One conclusion from this work ...is that the gap in life spans between rich and poor widened from 2001 to 2014. The top 1 percent in income among American men live 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent; for women, the gap is 10 years. These rich Americans have gained three years of longevity just in this century. They live longer almost without regard to where they live. Poor Americans had very little gain as a whole, with big differences among different places.
But the fact that some places have increased the life span of their poorest residents suggests that improving public health doesn't require first fixing the broader, multidecade problem of income inequality. Small-scale, local policies to help the poor adopt and maintain healthier habits may succeed in extending their lives, regardless of what happens with trends in income inequality.
"You want to think about this problem at a more local level than you might have before," said Raj Chetty, a Stanford economist who is the study's lead author.
"You don't want to just think about why things are going badly for the poor in America. You want to think specifically about why they're going poorly in Tulsa and Detroit," he said, naming two cities with the lowest levels of life expectancy among low-income residents.

The Albany area ranks #59 among the nation's 100 largest commuting areas for life-expectancy among people in the bottom 25 percent of income -- 79 years for all people / 76.2 for men / 81.7 for women. That overall number for the Albany area is the lowest in New York State, and it lags all the areas in states to the east and northeast of here.

But there are differences within the Capital Region. For example: Saratoga County's life-expectancy for people with household incomes below $28,000 is 79 years -- for Rensselaer County it's 77.4 years.

The easiest way to explore these numbers is via a smooth visualization put together by the New York Times that automatically re-writes itself based on where you're viewing it.

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