DEPUTY Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley and I announced that life expectancy in New York City has hit a record high, outpacing the national trend.

Influenced by New York City’s health initiatives, babies born in New York City in 2010 have the record high estimated life expectancy of 80.9 years — 2.2 more years than the current national average of 78.7.

New York City’s life expectancy rate has increased by three years since 2001, far greater than the nationwide increase of nearly 1.8 years over the same period.

The greatest increase in New York City life expectancy across the major race/ethnic groups was in African-Americans, whose life expectancy at birth increased 3.8 years from 2001 to 2010.

Additionally, the city’s infant mortality rate fell in 2011 to an all-time low of 4.7 deaths per 1,000 live births — a decrease of 23 percent since 2001 and nearly twice the national decrease of 12 percent over the same time period.

The city’s health interventions — including smoking prevention programs and expanded HIV testing and treatment — have contributed to this success, with reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer and HIV playing the largest role in the increase in life expectancy.

Not only are New Yorkers living longer, but our improvements continue to outpace the gains in the rest of the nation.

Our willingness to invest in health care and bold interventions is paying off in improved health outcomes, decreased infant mortality and increased life expectancy.

From 2001 to 2010, New York City life expectancy rate at birth increased by three years, far greater than the nationwide increase of nearly 1.8 years.

The life expectancy of both men (78.1 years) and women (83.3 years) increased and are better than the nationwide averages for both sexes.

The overall death rate hit an all-time low of 6.4 per 1,000 population in 2010: almost 8,000 fewer people died than in 2000.

The additional years of expected life for 40 year olds in New York City increased by 2.5 years from 2001 to 2010, a substantially greater gain than the 1.3 year increase for the same age group in the U.S. as a whole.

At the same time, life expectancy for 70 year olds in New York City increased 1.5 years, compared with .9 years for the nation.

In 2010, the life expectancy for a 40-year-old in New York City was 82.3, compared with 80.5 in the United States, while the life expectancy for a 70-year-old in New York City 87, compared to 85.5 nationwide.

Not only did the city’s life expectancy rate surpass the national rate, it improved faster than any major city for both women and men.

The Health Department analyzed data from death certificates and determined that improvements in prevention and treatment among the following diseases and conditions contributed the most to the increase in life expectancy.

The Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, the Health Department’s yearly report of births and deaths in New York City, is compiled by the agency’s Bureau of Vital Statistics.

The most up-to-date statistics are available by searching for Vital Statistics on and the full 2011 report will be released later this month.

Vital Statistics summaries dating as far back as 1961 are also available on that site.

To learn how to obtain a birth or death certificate, visit or call 311.

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