County’s Life Expectancy Second in the Nation
A new analysis of life expectancy at birth, obesity, and physical activity rates in all 3,143 counties or county-equivalents in the nation rates Montgomery County as number two nationally in life expectancy for both County males and females.
Males have a life expectancy of at 81.6 years of age – a 7.1 year jump between 1985 and 2010 while females live 84.9 years, an increase of 5.1 years over the last 15 years.
Montgomery males trailed only Fairfax County, Virginia in the entire nation and tied with Gunnison and Pitkin counties in Colorado while females came in second behind only Marin County, California.
The study was the first-ever county-level analysis and was conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The full study can be accessed at www.healthmetricsandevaluation.org
Measuring obesity, Montgomery County males and females were in the best 10 percent of counties with 23.9 percent and 24.9 percent, respectively – compared to the national average of 35.1 percent for females and 32.8 percent for males. Concerning physical activity, County females were in the top 10 percent of all counties and males in the top 25 percent.
“We have all known that Montgomery County was one of the best places in America to live, work, and raise a family, “ said County Executive Ike Leggett. “Now we know it is one of the best places to live if you are planning on living as long as you can.
“There are many factors at work here – income, employment, broad access to quality health care, a focus on public health, our excellent parks and recreational facilities, and more. The more I think about it, though, the more I believe our County education system is a key factor. Educational excellence contributes to raising self-awareness and to the ability of County residents to get good jobs, provide stability for their families, and support a strong tax base with strong social services.”
“Montgomery County has made a strong commitment of services and programs that provide medical care, preventive care, and educational outreach to help our residents be knowledgeable and proactive in their own health care,” said Council President Craig Rice. “It is vitally important that we continue to expand these programs to all those in need to ensure best possible health outcomes for everyone in Montgomery County. With government continuing to work with private partners and engaging our residents, I believe we will continue to see positive results in longevity of life and a healthier population.”
“These statistics show that Montgomery County is making measurable progress in our public health efforts,” said Councilmember George Leventhal, chair of the Council’s Health & Human Services Committee. “Our goal should be a culture of wellness, where every resident has access to affordable medical care, pays attention to his or her diet, exercises, keeps fit, feels good and maintains a high quality of life.”