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life-expectancy

According to our Massachusetts Deaths 2016 report released this week, the average life expectancy of Massachusetts residents rose to 80 years and 8 months in 2016, an increase in longevity that actually runs counter to national trends showing a decline in how long Americans are expected to live.

So what’s driving the positive trend in Massachusetts? Since 2006, life expectancy in the state has remained close to 80 years – and one reason for that is fewer deaths from chronic conditions such as cancer and heart disease which have steadily declined for nearly two decades.

Other reasons include better access to health insurance and excellent health care, as well as reductions in smoking rates.

“We are pleased that Massachusetts residents are living longer,” says Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “But we need to stay vigilant in preventing disease and addiction, and to reducing health disparities.”

DPH works very closely with community and other public health partners to promote the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality health care and a wide variety of healthcare services, and by focusing on prevention, wellness and health equity in all people, no matter where they live.

“As we look to the future, we know that our job is far from done,” said Dr. Bharel. “Life expectancy and health in general is associated with education, income, employment and other social determinants of health. We need to continue to work hard at closing the gaps in health disparities to ensure the health of all of our residents.”

The Department of Public Health produces this annual report in part to help shape prevention efforts so they are targeted where they are most needed. Learn more about the report in this official announcement.

Written By:


Communications Director at the Department of Public Health

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