A high number of people smoking in South Dakota is helping to keep the state's average life expectancy below the national average.

24/7 Wall St looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program’s 2021 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and found that the average resident of the Mount Rushmore State is living 78.9 years.

That's 27th overall among the 50 states and slightly under the national average of 79.2 years.

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The percentage of adult smokers in South Dakota is one of the main contributing factors to that state's below-average life expectancy numbers.

More than one-in-five adults in the state smoke every day or most every day (20.2 percent). That's the tenth highest rate in America, and well above the national average of  16.6 percent.

STATES WITH THE LONGEST LIFE EXPECTANCY (in years)

  • Hawaii - 82.3
  • California - 81.7
  • New York - 81.4
  • Connecticut - 80.9
  • Minnesota - 80.9
  • Massachusetts - 80.6
  • Colorado - 80.6
  • New Jersey - 80.5
  • Washington - 80.4
  • Florida - 80.2

STATES WITH THE SHORTEST LIFE EXPECTANCY (in years)

  • West Virginia - 74.8
  • Mississippi - 74.9
  • Alabama - 75.6
  • Kentucky - 75.6
  • Tennessee - 76.0
  • Oklahoma - 76.1
  • Arkansas - 76.1
  • Louisiana - 76.1
  • Ohio - 77.0
  • Indiana - 77.1
  • South Carolina - 77.1

According to the CDC, life expectancy in America is falling at a historic rate, dropping by a year and a half in 2020, which is the largest one-year decline since World War II.

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