Study: Shelby County has longest life expectancy in state

Published 11:34 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Shelby County residents have the highest life expectancy and the greatest access to health care in the state, according to a study recently compiled by a national website.

The website recently released its list of the healthiest places in Alabama, and Shelby County came out at or near the top of all categories used to calculate the final ranking.

The website named Shelby County the healthiest in the state by a significant margin, assigning the county an overall “healthiest places” score of 75.44. By comparison, second-place Baldwin County had a 71.11 score, third-place Madison County had a 70.19 score, fourth-place Coffee County had a 69.47 score and fifth-place Lee County had a 68.35 score. Nationally, Shelby County is the 545th healthiest county.

“An individual’s health is key to assessing life expectancy, which is the ultimate determinant of the price one pays for life insurance,” read the website. “To find America’s healthiest places we considered three factors: Length of life, health behaviors and health care access.”

Shelby County has a 15.5 percent adult smoking rate, a 31.3 percent adult obesity rate, a 17 percent excessive drinking rate and a 12.1 percent uninsured rate, according to the website.

Shelby County has the longest average life expectancy in the state at 82.61, compared to Lee County’s 78.69 years, Coffee County’s 77.91 years, Baldwin County’s 77.08 and Madison County’s 77.06 years.

In terms of health behaviors such as smoking, obesity and excessive drinking, Shelby County ranked No. 4 in the state behind Baldwin County, DeKalb County, Cleburne County and Coffee County.

Shelby County’s residents have the highest access to health care in the state, according to the study. Nationwide, the county ranks 350th in health care access.

To view the entire rankings, visit