American lives are shorter on average than those in other wealthy nations, and the gap is growing ever wider, according to the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As recently as 1979, the typical American could expect to live roughly 1.5 years longer than the average resident of one of the other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — a group of 35 wealthy, predominantly Western nations.
The typical American baby born in 1979 could expect to live about 73.9 years, while the typical baby born in one of the other 34 OECD countries would live roughly to age 72.3.
But by 2015 that gap had flipped. The average American born that year could expect to live a little less than 79 years, while the typical baby born in an OECD country had an expected life span of nearly 81 years.