Robert Woods Johnson Foundation: U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates

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It’s been duly noted three of the biggest words in business are: location, location, and location. From one location to the next, differences can sometimes be drastic, even when two locations are within close proximity to each other.

Every indicator on the Walla Walla Trends website tells us something about our location and how it affects us.  But what about data for locations smaller than counties and cities? Zip-code and census tract-level data are becoming more and more available, but the smaller the surveyed population, the greater the margin of error.

The U.S. Census defines a census tract as a “small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county” with an average of approximately 4,000 residents each.

What can local census tract-level data tell me about where I live compared to people a few blocks away, or on the other side of a river?

The U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates, a project partnership between the National Center for Health Statistics (part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, can estimate how long you will live based on where you live.

Entering any physical street address will bring up census tract-level data, so using the addresses for the City of Walla Walla (15 North 3rd Avenue, Walla Walla, Washington 99362), the life expectancy is as follows: 

  • City of Walla Walla = 74.40 years.
  • Walla Walla County = 79.80 years.
  • Washington State = 80.20 years.
  • The U.S. = 78.60 years.