CHICAGO – Chicagoans are living longer than ever before, as the average life expectancy for city residents has hit a new high of 77.8 years. According to a new report issued today by the Chicago Department of Public Health, life expectancy in Chicago grew by more than seven years between 1990 and 2010, nearly twice as fast as the national average increase.
“These numbers are further proof that Chicago is moving in the right direction,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D. “Today, we are living longer and healthier than at any point in our entire history.”
Click here for an infographic showing the improvements.
According to the report, residents in every Chicago neighborhood have experienced increases in life expectancy over the twenty years measured. Both males and females and members of every major ethnic group have seen significant increases in life expectancy, while longstanding disparities between ethnic groups have decreased significantly.
Among the findings:
• Life expectancy at birth has increased 7.3 years among all Chicago residents to a new high of 77.8 years.
• In 1990, life expectancy for Chicagoans was about 5 years below the national average. Today, that difference has shrunk to less than one year. If current trends continue, Chicago will soon outpace the national average.
• Differences in life expectancy between non-Hispanic blacks (NH blacks) and non-Hispanic whites (NH whites) decreased by 10 percent, while differences between the two groups due to perinatal conditions decreased by 50%
• Hispanic residents have a life expectancy rate of 84.7 years, the highest rate in the City.
• The average resident in every neighborhood saw increases in life expectancy. The five neighborhoods with the highest life expectancy are Near North Side, the Loop, North Park, Forest Glen and Hyde Park – with residents in each of those neighborhoods expected to live more than 82 years.
• The five neighborhood that saw the biggest increases in life expectancy are the Near South Side, Grand Boulevard, Near West Side, Oakland and Kenwood – all of which saw increases between 12 and 21 years.
Life expectancy has increased due in part to reduced mortality from heart disease, cancer, HIV and other infectious diseases. This is likely due to medical advances in testing and treatment, increased access to care across Chicago and improved environmental factors in the City.
“This is a reminder that good public policies lead to healthier populations,” Dr. Choucair continued. “Within his first 100 days of taking office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel released Healthy Chicago, one of the most comprehensive public health agendas in the country, dedicated to ensuring every Chicago can live a long, safe and healthy life.”