Move to Virginia, Live Longer

Source: “In Place-Based Drivers of Mortality: Evidence from Migration,” National Bureau of Economic Research.

Virginia doesn’t have a reputation as being one of the healthiest states to live in — too many obese people. But a study on place-based drivers of mortality finds that a 65-year-old person with average health moving from one “commuting zone” in the country to most “commuting zones” in the Old Dominion will add between 0.26 to 1.26 years to their life expectancy.

Lesser benefits are obtained by moving to far Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Fredericksburg, while moving to the Lynchburg area and Eastern Shore could set you back.

States the study:

Areas where movers live longer tend to have less extreme climates, less pollution, fewer automobile deaths, and fewer homicides. In addition, their residents tend to have higher income, more education, and better health behaviors, including less smoking and more exercise. These areas also tend to be more urban, and have higher quality hospitals and more primary care physicians and specialists per capita.


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2 responses to “Move to Virginia, Live Longer”

  1. djrippert Avatar

    Maybe those counties on the wester edge of Virginia who want to join West Virginia ought to take a look at the blow up of the state map Jim provides.

  2. Jim,
    I’d encourage you to look a bit more closely at your map. Lynchburg might not be a place you are too familiar with, but it is pretty obvious that the area you refer to as Lynchburg in this study is actually the Buckingham/Farmville area. Lynchburg and it’s surrounding counties show well in this study.

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