The data on this dataset was from study results were published on June 15, 2011, in “Falling behind: life expectancy in US counties from 1987 to 2007 in an international context”.
This study was conducted to account for disparities in health outcomes that can be seen more clearly in the context of how progress in each county compares to international trends. Results of this study showed that the US has extremely large geographic and racial disparities, with some communities having life expectancies already well behind those of the best-performing nations.
The 3,141 US counties were merged into 2,357 clusters for this research. This was done to counties with fewer than 7,000 males or 7,000 females were joined with neighboring counties in the same state of similar size, income, and percent of the population reported as black or Native American until the cutoff was met. Within the dataset, counties in the same cluster have the same results.
Results of this study showed that across US counties, life expectancy in 2007 ranged from 65.9 to 81.1 years for men and 73.5 to 86.0 years for women. County life expectancy for black men ranges from 59.4 to 77.2 years while for black women, the range is 69.6 to 82.6 years. Between 2000 and 2007, 80% (men) and 91% (women) of American counties fell in standing against the international life expectancy standard. In conclusion, the US has extremely large life expectancy disparities and efforts should be made to address these issues.