Your Life Expectancy Could Depend On Your Neighborhood
Ken Rich lives in the Lowry Hill neighborhood in Minneapolis and thinks he'll live to be 85 or 90. Tom Knowles lives in the Merriam Park neighborhood in St. Paul and hopes to make it to his 80's. The truth is, they're just five miles apart, but Rich could live more than a decade longer.
It's according to a study by Wilder Research in St. Paul. They used state and census data to figure out average life expectancies by neighborhood.
"When you just get down underneath the surface, we start to see these really incredible and persistent differences in health," said Lead Researcher Melanie Ferris. She says there are a lot of factors that determine the averages, and two of the big ones are poverty and education levels.
"Poverty and education impact health in a lot of different ways," she explained. "It impacts the kinds of choices that you have, it influences where you live, it influences maybe the kinds of foods that you buy, the choices that you make around your own health."
Those are choices Rich and Knowles are reconsidering.
Unsurprisingly, Rich said, "I think I better stay in this neighborhood." Knowles, on the other hand, laughed, "maybe I move."
Keep in mind, just because you live in a particular neighborhood, it doesn't mean you'll live to be exactly 83-years-old or 72-years-old. Some people are going to die young, some people are going to live to be 100.
The key is -- the numbers are life expectancy averages.