On Saturday I'll be celebrating my first birthday as a Montanan. According to a new study, I'll be alive longer now that I'm in the Treasure State compared to where I was born.

SeniorLiving.com has published the Life Expectancy In Every U.S. State after analyzing reports from the CDC and the Journal of the American Medical Association released in 2018.

Montana was ranked 26th in America with an average life expectancy of 78.9 years old. In Indiana, where I was born, life expectancy is 77.2 years old. That's another year and a half I'll get, just because I'm NOT a Hoosier.

Here are 6 States with the LONGEST life expectancy:

  1. Hawaii (81.3 years)
  2. California (80.9 years)
  3. Connecticut (80.8 years)
  4. Minnesota (80.8 years)
  5. New York (80.5 years)
  6. Massachusetts (80.4 years)

I am a little concerned about the time I spent as a resident of Alabama, West Virginia, Kentucky and Florida. Nine of the ten lowest life expectancy states are in the South.

Here are 6 States with the SHORTEST life expectancy:

  1. Mississippi (74.7 years)
  2. West Virginia (75.3 years)
  3. Alabama (75.4 years)
  4. Louisiana (75.6 years)
  5. Oklahoma (75.7 years)
  6. Kentucky (75.8 years)

While life expectancy declined nationally over the past three years, the reasons for the downward trend is different in each state. Cancer and heart disease remain the two biggest causes of death in America but there were huge increases in suicide, drug overdoses and liver disease due to alcoholism.

Here are some key findings from the study on U.S. life expectancy:

  • Heart Disease: Montana ranks No. 29 with 155 deaths per 100,000 people.  Oklahoma had the most heart related deaths with 237.2 per 100,000. Minnesota had the fewest with 119.1 per 100,000.

  • Cancer: Montana ranks No. 31 with 152.6 deaths per 100,000 people. Kentucky had the most cancer deaths with 185.7 per 100,000. Utah had the fewest with 120.3 per 100,000.

  • Suicide: Montana had the most suicides with 28.9 per 100,000. New York had the fewest with 8.1 per 100,000.

  • Drug Overdoses: Montana ranks No. 45 with 11.7 drug overdoses per 100,000 people. West Virginia had the most drug overdoses with 57.8 per 100,000 people.  Nebraska had the fewest with 8.1 per 100,000.

  • Liver Disease: Montana ranks No. 3 with 16.1 liver related deaths per 100,000.  New Mexico had the most liver related deaths with 26.8 per 100,000 people.  Maryland had the fewest with 6.6 per 100,000.