June 26--Average life expectancy is improving in the Twin Cities, and the gap in expectations for those living in richer and poorer communities has narrowed a bit.
Those are two key findings from a report released Tuesday, June 27, from a foundation at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, an Eagan-based health insurance company.
Average life expectancy in the region is 81 years, which is higher than the national average of 76.5 years, according to the new report, which draws on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources.
In high-income neighborhoods, average life expectancy is 84 years, the report found, compared with 76 years in the lowest-income neighborhoods. Between 2000 and 2007, the gap in life expectancy rates among residents of neighborhoods with the highest and lowest concentrations of poverty narrowed from 8 years to 6.6 years.
The new study follows up on a 2010 report that found significant differences in life expectancy depending on residents' ZIP code in the Twin Cities. In general, the pattern documented in the earlier report still holds true, as neighborhoods with the longest life expectancies still tend to be in more-affluent neighborhoods of second- and third-ring suburbs.
"The gap in life expectancy rates between the most and least affluent neighborhoods in our region has narrowed, yet children born in the highest-income areas are still expected to live six years longer on average than those born in to the lowest-income areas,"
the new report states.
Christopher Snowbeck can be reached at 651-228-5479. Follow him at twitter.com/chrissnowbeck.
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