Comparing seniors who relocate long-distance shows where you live affects your longevity

Would you like to live longer? It turns out that where you live, not just how you live, can make a big difference.

That’s the finding of an innovative study co-authored by an MIT economist, which examines senior citizens across the U.S. and concludes that some locations enhance longevity more than others, potentially for multiple reasons.

The results show that when a 65-year-old moves from a metro area in the 10th percentile, in terms of how much those areas enhance longevity, to a metro area the 90th percentile, it increases that person’s life expectancy by 1.1 years. That is a notable boost, given that mean life expectancy for 65-year-olds in the U.S. is 83.3 years.

“There’s a substantively important causal effect of where you live as an elderly adult on mortality and life expectancy across the United States,” says Amy Finkelstein, a professor in MIT’s Department of…
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