American males born in 2000 now enjoy an average life expectancy of 74.1 years, up 0.2 years from 1999.Females have an average life expectancy of 79.5 years, up 0.1 years. Women can still expect to live longer than men on average, though the gap in life expectancy continued a years-long narrowing trend last year. A 7-year difference between the genders recorded in 1990 was down to 5.5 years . Although only about 1 in 10,000 people in developed countries live to be a hundred or more, these centenarians constitute one of the fastest-growing age groups in the United States.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were between 69,000 and 81,000 centenarians living in the United States in 2000. Over the past 150 years, the average life span–and correspondingly, the maximum life span has been steadily increasing. Statisticians at Boston College reveal that in France, Japan and Switzerland, men and women aged 65 now live several years longer than they do in the US.
Asian-American women living in Bergen County, N.J., lead the nation in longevity, typically reaching their 91st birthdays. Worst off are American Indian men in parts of South Dakota, who die around age 58, three decades sooner. Asian-American women can expect to live 13 years longer than low-income black women in the rural South. Low-income whites in Appalachia and the Mississippi Valley die four years sooner than their Northern neighbors. Asian-Americans have a life expectancy of 84.9 years. Northland have a life expectancy of 79 years. Middle America have a life expectancy of 77.9 years. Low income whites in Appalachia, Mississippi Valley have a life expectancy of 75 years. Western American Indians have a life expectancy of 72.7 years.