July 15, 2015

Life Expectancy In Indianapolis Metro Area Varies Widely

Life Expectancy In Indianapolis Metro Area Varies Widely

INDIANAPOLIS -- Up in Carmel the average life expectancy is nearly 84 years. But 13 miles south, in the middle of Indianapolis, it’s just over 69 years.

A new report from the IUPUI School of Public Health shows that life expectancy in the Indianapolis metro area can vary greatly from one neighborhood to the next. According to researchers, life expectancy in some neighborhoods is six decades behind the United States average -- even slightly lower than in Iraq and Bangladesh.

But why?

According to Tamara Leech, one of the researchers on the project, how long people live is mostly determined by the neighborhoods they live in. 

"They shape your day to day experiences in terms of accessing things that promote your health, or being exposed to things that diminish your health," she said.

Leech added that it's everything from "the air that you’re breathing, to the quality of streets that you’re walking on, to the quality of grocery stores or schools that you’re entering."

Fixing those things will take a lot of work, but the researchers say the point of the report is to start a conversation on how to go about it.

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