Where You Live Affects How Long You Live

Life Expectancy at Birth in Tennessee

How long we live depends partly on where we live. The average life expectancy in the United States today is about 79 years, but it varies across and within states. (1)

In Tennessee, average life expectancy is about 76 years but ranges from 64 in parts of Washington County to 88 in parts of Rutherford County. There’s also variation within counties and even cities and towns. Within Davidson County, for example, life expectancy ranges from about 66 years to 87. In Shelby County, the range is about 65 to 83, and in Knox County, 67 to 82. (2)

Location matters because our neighborhoods can affect our access to factors that influence health, such as education, health care, jobs, social support, transportation, and healthy foods. Research shows that people who live in wealthy, highly educated communities are more likely to be in better health and live longer than those who do not.

Map of Life Expectancy in Tennessee

Use the map below to explore how life expectancy varies across Tennessee communities. To see how your life expectancy compares to others in your area, click here and enter your address or zip code.

Resources for Understanding the Drivers of Health

The factors that influence life expectancy and population health are complex and interconnected. To learn more, read our overview of the drivers of health and the roots of a thriving Tennessee.

To see how your county fares on some of the major drivers of health, visit our County Health Profiles.


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  1. National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). Data table for Figure 1. Life expectancy at birth, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin: United States, 2006–2016. Health, United States 2017. [Online] 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2017/fig01.pdf.
  2. National Center for Health Statistics. U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP). Life Expectancy Estimates File for Tennessee, [2010-2015]. [Online] 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/usaleep/usaleep.html.

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