Life Expectancy at Birth

In September 2018 the CDC National Center for Health Statistics published a report on U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates. This report describes the first set of abridged period life tables for U.S. census tracts for the 2010-2015 period. Results were produced for 88.7% of U.S. census tracts with a mean life expectancy at birth of 78.7 years.

Life expectancy at birth is defined as the average number of years that a newborn could expect to live if he or she were to pass through life subject to the age-specific mortality rates of a given period. Life expectancy is an intuitive and easy to understand concept that is widely used as the ideal measure of a population’s mortality. The term simply refers to the number of years a person can expect to live, based on an estimate of the average age that members of a particular population group will be when they die.