Life Expectancy Hits All-Time High
By MEGAN MONTALVO
|Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced that life expectancy for New Yorkers has officially surpassed an all-time high during a press conference at the Dept. of Health in Long Island City. He is seen pictured here with Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs (left) and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley (right). Photo by Megan Montalvo
It’s a good day to be a New Yorker, if you ask Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
On Dec. 13, the Mayor headed to the Dept. of Health in Long Island City to announce that life expectancy for New Yorkers has officially surpassed an all-time high.
“Not only are New Yorkers living longer, but our improvements continue to outpace the gains in the rest of the nation,” he said, adding “This is serious. It’s a great day to be a New Yorker.”
In a slide show, the Mayor detailed statistical data showing that from 2001 to 2010, the City’s life expectancy rate at birth increased by three years, far greater than the nationwide increase of nearly 1.8 years.
Additionally, by comparison to nationwide averages, the life expectancy of both men (78.1 years) and women (83.3 years) living in New York City has increased and are better for both sexes.
“Our willingness to invest in health care and bold interventions is paying off in improved health outcomes, decreased infant mortality and increased life expectancy,” he said. “The rest of the country talks about taking care of their people, but the best indicator that you are actually doing that is the life expectancy rate.”
While revealing the gathered data, the Mayor placed a particular emphasis on Hispanic New Yorkers, who can expect to live the longest at an average age of 81.9 years, while white residents trail slightly behind at 81.4 years and Black residents round off at 77.2.
“The fact that Hispanics live longer than whites is something that, if you just look at the economic numbers, you wouldn’t expect,” he said. “It’s called the Hispanic conundrum, or something like that.”
By analyzing data from death certificates, officials at the Health Dept. have determined that improvements in prevention and treatment among HIV, heart disease and infant mortality contributed the most to the increase in life expectancy.
In 2011, the Citywide infant mortality rate fell to an all-time low of 4.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, and improvements are seen across all ethnic groups.
This number joins a marked decline in heart disease, which from 2001 to 2010, decreased at 27.1 percent.
“Life expectancy and infant mortality are excellent measures of the overall health of a population, and these statistics show that New York City is increasingly a healthy place in which to live, work and raise a family,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, who joined Bloomberg in the announcement. “The City’s efforts to cut smoking, improve care for those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol and treat HIV infection are working.”
Supporting Farley’s statement, Bloomberg reaffirmed that City programs, such as “The Bronx Knows” and “Brooklyn Knows,” have helped in early identification and treatment of HIV infections.
“The mortality rate from HIV infection is declining at a faster rate than other causes of death in New York City,” he said. “The rate is down by 53 percent from 2001 to 2010.”
Concluding his announcement on a high note, the Mayor urged New Yorkers to consider moving their extended family to New York.
“If you want your relatives to live longer and you really care about them, tell them to come and live in New York,” he said.
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.