expectancy is “the average number of years of life remaining to a person
at a particular age”1 and is often used as a summary measure
of the health status of a population. The most commonly used life expectancy
measure is life expectancy at birth, the number of years a person born
in a given year is expected to live.
Life expectancy does not change much from year to year and random variation can cause life expectancy to decrease slightly on occasion, therefore the overall trend is key.
The calculation of life expectancy requires birth, death, and population data. Since New Jersey death data for races other than white and black and for Hispanics is known to be of poor quality, life expectancy is only presented here for whites, blacks, males, females, and the total population.
In addition to life expectancy at birth, the expected number of years of life remaining for persons at other ages is also of interest. Typically, life tables are used to display this information. “The life table provides a comprehensive measure of the effect of mortality on life expectancy. It is composed of sets of values showing the mortality experience of a hypothetical group of infants born at the same time and subject throughout their lifetime to the age-specific mortality rates of a particular time period, usually a given year.”2
Of the four race/sex groups shown in the tables, white females have the longest life expectancy and black males have the shortest life expectancy, both at birth and at age 65. However, the gap has narrowed over the decade.
1 Health, United States. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/nchsdefs/lifeexpectancy.htm
2 National Vital Statistics Reports. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/nchsdefs/lifetable.htm
Links to related reports
Jersey Health Statistics report series: see annual Deaths chapter
for New Jersey life expectancy at birth by race and sex for more recent
© State of New Jersey, 1996-2004