Live Longer? Reside in Certain Neighborhoods

Did you know where you live may predict how long you live?

According to Jathan Sadowski at, referencing the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study, “Just a few metro stops can mean the difference between an extra five to ten years added to your lifespan.  “Where we live, learn, work and play can have a greater impact on our health than we realize.”

We all know that the richer you are, the more likely it is you will live longer, and conversely, the poorer you are, sadly, also predicts longevity.  Sadowski gives as an example two parts of New Orleans, the French Quarter, where more poor people live, and the "much more gentrified Lower Garden District a few miles away."

The average lifespan of someone who lives in the French Quarter?  You won't believe this.  It's 55 years. Our national average lifespan just rose to 78.2 years!  But if you live near highway 610, or the Fairgrounds, you'll live till your 80s.

Even more shocking, the study shows, residents between two exits off highway 99 -- exits 189 and 187 -- in Merced County show a discrepancy of nine years.  If you're lucky enough to live off exit 189, you'll live to 87.  But if you're near exit 187, plan on spending only 78 years on this planet.

What makes the difference?  Obviously, if you live in an area with high crime, where public services are lacking, and poverty is widespread, Sadowski reports, your chances of living a long, healthy life are not that good.  But if you're well-to-do, and live in an area that reflects your wealth, you'll most likely do just fine.

I guess this is where the 1% comes in.

But it's not all about how much money you have, though, of course, that helps.  It's the lifestyle you lead.  If you have time to exercise and the funds to buy organic produce, don't smoke and try to stay in shape, get the best medical care, you're probably going to live a long time.  But unfortunately, people with little -- or
none -- of this, won't.  And they're not the ones living at exit 189.


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