Scott County Men Catching Up to Women in Life Expectancy

The gap between men and women’s life expectancy is shrinking, but it may not be good news for everyone. See how Scott County stacks up.

Credit: Hasbrouck Heights Patch
Credit: Hasbrouck Heights Patch

(Heather Martino contributed to this article.)

While Scott County women are living longer than men, life expectancy is increasing at a faster rate for men.

According to a new study from the University of Washington, which analyzed life expectancy rates for both men and women from 1985-2010, the life expectancy age for Scott County women increased 4.9 years from 78.4 to 83.3 in the 25-year period. The age for men, however, increased 5.8 years from 73.7 to 79.5 during the same period.


Scott County men also have a leg up on neighboring Dakota County men and women. According to the study, the life expectancy for Dakota County men increased 5.7 years from 73.8 to 79.5 in the last 25 years, just .1 year less than Scott County men. However, Dakota County women recorded an increase of just 3.8 years from 79.4 to 83.2.

As far as the rest of Minnesota goes, life expectancy numbers came in at 78.2 and 82.5 for men and women, respectively, in 2010. Nationally, those numbers were at 76.1 years for men and 80.8 years for women.

Use the map above to see how Hennepin County residents compare to the rest of Minnesota and the nation.


Across the country, people are also living longer than ever, the study found.

Throughout the United States, major improvements in life expectancy occurred in areas with large metropolises, like our county in Minnesota, and other states such as California, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New York and Virginia. But the disparity is widening, with counties in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama seeing declines or stagnations in residents’ average age of death.

Researchers also found that women were living longer than men in every county in 2010. But men are catching up, having adding 5.3 years to their lives since 1985, while women only added 3.

Even more worrisome is that 45% of women in counties nationwide are dying younger now or at the same rate than they were in 1985. So while men are living longer in counties across the country, women are remaining stagnant in much of the country.

“As a nation, what we can do about that is have a concerted effort to tackle the key preventable causes in those communities where there is no improvement,” said IHME Director Christopher Murray. He told Patch that in places where there is stagnation, local communities should “focus on changing things there that we know can make a difference, like diet, tobacco, high blood pressure and physical inactivity.”

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