NC Department of Health and Human Services
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Important Facts for Life Expectancy at Birth


Life expectancy (LE) represents the average number of additional years that someone at a given age would be expected to live if he/she were to experience throughout life the age-specific risk of death observed in a specified reference period.


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Why Is This Important?

Life Expectancy is often used to gauge the overall health of a community. Shifts in life expectancy are often used to describe trends in mortality. Being able to predict how populations will age has enormous implications for the planning and provision of services and supports. Small increases in life expectancy translate into large increases in the population.

As the life expectancy of a population lengthens, the number of people living with chronic illnesses tends to increase because chronic illnesses are more common among older persons.

Other Objectives

Healthy North Carolina 2020
CSTE Chronic Disease Indicators

How Are We Doing?

The life expectancy at birth for North Carolinians in 2010 was 78.0 years. This is about three years more than the life expectancy at birth in 1990 and four years more than the life expectancy in 1980.

How Do We Compare With U.S.?

Residents of our state now have a life expectancy which is comparable to the U.S. average of 78.2 in 2009.

State Center for Health Statistics, N.C. Division of Public Health, Telephone: 919-733-4728, Fax: 919-733-8485
North Carolina - A better place to be.
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Content updated: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 15:20:12 EST