More and more Americans are moving from Democratic-leaning blue states to Republican-voting red ones, and one of the effects of this change is that they are relocating to places with lower life expectancy.
Idaho, Montana and Florida, all red states, had the greatest population growth among U.S. states between 2020 and 2022. Meanwhile, New York and Illinois, both blue states, and Louisiana, a red state, suffered the biggest population losses. California, another blue state, has experienced significant recent population loss as well.
One key reason for this migration is the high cost of living in places like New York and California, compared with the lower cost of living in red states such as Georgia or Indiana.
I am a scholar who studies the intersection between politics, media and psychology. I think it is important to note that another trend, though, is that people are largely migrating to places with lower life expectancies.
There is a large difference in expected life spans for people living in certain states, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
For instance, people born in New York and California – two of the richest states in the country, which largely vote Democratic – have a life expectancy of 77.7 and 79 years, respectively. But people in Mississippi and Louisiana – two of the poorest states, which tend to vote Republican – live, on average, until they are 71.9 and 73.1 years old.
People who live in Republican-leaning states tend to have less money, worse health conditions, higher rates of gun-related deaths and lower levels of education than people living in Democratic states.
On average, people in red states have higher rates of poverty than residents of blue states.
Poverty is an indicator for life expectancies in the U.S. – the poorer someone is, the more likely to die younger.
But there are likely other issues at play in people in red states’ having lower life spans.
Research in 2020 showed that Americans in blue states tend to live longer than people in red states, primarily because of state policies on everything from seat belt laws to abortion laws. That research also identified health policies as a major factor.
People in blue states also tend to have higher rates of health insurance than people in red states.
Moreover, when looking at the rates of people who are diagnosed with cancer in each state, it…
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