clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

People in San Francisco and San Jose Live Longer, Says Stanford Study

Researchers measure life expectancy by region and income, and give thumbs-up to the Bay

Stanford researchers went through 15 years worth of data to calculate when we’re all going to die.

Really guys, you shouldn’t have.

The study, done in conjunction with several other universities, including MIT, and published in the Journal of American Medicine this week, compares life expectancy by income level and region nationwide. They found that if you live in San Francisco or San Jose, you have at least one to two extra years in the tank compared to the national average.

Of course, it depends on how much money you make. Nationwide, the poorest Americans can expect to live an average of about 79.4 years, but in San Francisco (number seven in the nation for pushing your golden years into overtime) that number jumps up to 80.9. And in San Jose (number three), even the very poorest average 81.6 years.

The benefits are more pronounced for men: Nationwide, the life expectancy for a man averages 76.7 years, but living in San Francisco nets the fellas two more full years on average, bumping you up to 78.8. San Jose affords men nearly three extra years, for an expectancy of 79.5.

Women get less out of it: Less than a one year bonus for the city and less than two years in the South Bay. But women also outlive men across all regions and income brackets no matter what.

Santa Rosa also came in among the top 10 cities for deferring your impending demise the longest, ranking just below San Francisco at number eight. Los Angeles is number five.

More interesting still: Although the poorest Americans (those in the bottom 25 percent income bracket) live significantly longer on average here, no Bay Area city finishes in the top 10 when it comes to the lifespan of the rich (those in the top 25 percent). The closest we get is Santa Barbara, where the average wealthy resident can expect to live 87.5 years.

But the researchers say that region makes much less of a difference for the wealthy, who of course outlive everyone else no matter what.

Data was compiled from tax records and mortality rates (death and taxes, of course...) for 1999-2014. To whittle down the amount of data they had to plow through, researchers focused only on those people age 40 or older in 100 different "commuting zones."

"There are 741 commuting zones in the United States, compared with more than 3000 counties and more than 40,000 zip codes," the report points out, which means some of the San Franciscans whose lives were measured out in the study didn’t actually live in the city itself. Potentially encouraging news for anyone who lost their lease recently.