January 4, 2012
The life expectancy for New York City babies reached 80.6 years in 2009, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Dec. 27. Life expectancy at birth in the city has increased by almost three years since 2000 and now is more than two years higher than the national figure of 78.2 years. Life expectancy for 40-year-olds also rose, from 79.5 years in 2000 to 82 years in 2009. Bloomberg has made public health a top priority, running campaigns against smoking, obesity, and high salt consumption. Officials, however, said the biggest factor in the improved outlook was expanded HIV testing and treatment, which has helped drive down the mortality rate from HIV infection by 51.9 percent since 2002, and by 11.3 percent from 2009 to 2010. New Yorkers trailed other Americans in life expectancy for most of the 20th century; the difference was most pronounced in 1990 when the AIDS epidemic drove the number downward, especially for men. The turnaround was noted around 2000, when the life expectancy of New Yorkers began surpassing the national rate. The city also saw a 32.5 percent drop in births to teenage girls since 2001; a 19.9 percent decline in smoking-related deaths of persons age 35 or older since 2002; and a 32 percent reduction in deaths from car accidents since 2001.