Life expectancy tells us the average number of years of life a person who has attained a given age can expect to live.
Life expectancy estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics provide a reliable snapshot of population health and mortality in the United States.
Find information about life expectancy, learn more about trends, and see charts and graphs
Understanding Life Tables
National life expectancy estimates are calculated using period (current) life tables. Life tables are used to measure mortality, survivorship, and the life expectancy of a population at varying ages.
Period life tables estimate how many more years a group of people who are currently at a particular age – any age from birth to 100 or more – can expect to live if the mortality patterns in a given year remain the same over the rest of their lives. Life tables can also be used to compare how life expectancy has improved or declined over time.
National-level life tables are released annually, as well as every 10 years (decennially) around the U.S. population census.
- U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project: Methodology and Results Summarypdf icon
- The Effect of Changes in Selected Age-specific Causes of Death on Non-Hispanic White Life Expectancy between 2000 and 2014
- Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014
- How Does Cause of Death Contribute to the Hispanic Mortality Advantage in the United States?
- Leading Causes of Death Contributing to Decrease in Life Expectancy Gap Between Black and White Populations: United States, 1999–2013
Death Rates and Life Expectancy at Birth – This dataset of U.S. mortality trends since 1900 highlights the differences in Age-adjusted death rates and life expectancy at birth by race and sex.
The U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Project (USALEEP) is a partnership between NCHS, NAPHSIS, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
- USALEEP: NAPHSIS Neighborhood Life Expectancy Projectexternal icon
- USALEEP: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation blog: New Data Provides Deeper Understanding of Life Expectancy Gapsexternal icon
U.S. Census Bureau: American Community Surveyexternal icon presents detailed population and housing information about our nation.