Health Status > Health Behaviors

Life Expectancy

A baby girl born in the United States in 2003 could expect to live 80.1 years, 5.3 years longer than her male counterpart, whose life expectancy was 74.8 years. The life expectancy at birth for White females was 80.5 years; for Black females, the life expectancy at birth was 76.1 years. The differential between male and female life expectancy was greater among Blacks than Whites; Black males could expect to live 69.0 years, 7.1 years less than Black females, while the difference between White males and females was 5.2 years. The higher infant mortality rate among Blacks may partly account for their relatively lower life expectancy.

Life expectancy has steadily increased since 1970 for males and females in both racial groups. Between 1970 and 2003, White malesí life expectancy increased from 68.0 to 75.3 years (10.7 percent), while White femalesí life expectancy increased from 75.6 to 80.5 years (6.5 percent). Black malesí life expectancy increased from 60.0 to 69.0 years (15.0 percent) during the same period, while Black femalesí life expectancy has increased from 68.3 to 76.1 years (11.4 percent).

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.