The U.S. life expectancy is 78.7 years as of 2011

The life expectancy for the U.S. is nearly 80 years old, but a new report indicates this isn't necessarily good news.

According to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the life expectancy of a U.S. resident as of 2011 was 78.7 years. This is about an eight-year improvement over a comparison to the U.S. life expectancy in 1970.

However, OECD says 78.7 years isn't good on the broader scale. Overall, life expectancy for the OECD as a whole has seen a 10-year gain to an average life expectancy of 80.1 years compared to 1970. This means that the U.S. is more than a year below the 80.1 average.

Why is the U.S. below the OECD average? The report cited issues like the fragmented U.S. health system; much of the population is uninsured; there are relatively few resources for public health and primary care; higher calorie consumption per capita and obesity rates; higher consumption of prescription and illegal drugs; higher rates of poverty and income inequality; higher deaths from traffic accidents, and higher homicide rates.

Source: OECD iLibrary

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