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Colorado Quality of Life Shines: Study Ranks Centennial State 2nd for Healthy Lifestyles

An oft-cited reason people and businesses relocate to Colorado is for quality of life, and a recent study by the online wellness publication backs up that perception, finding that Colorado has the No. 7 best outlook for life expectancy in the years to come.

Colorado’s ranking is based on its No. 12 rank for actual life expectancy at birth — 78.3 years — and No. 2 rank among all states for healthy lifestyles.

To come up with its ranking of longevity projections, the study compared data on life expectancy at birth with healthy lifestyle metrics — spanning diet, fitness, stress, sleep, outdoor recreation and social connection — to forecast how life expectancy is expected to trend in all 50 states and D.C. in the years to come.

READ: A Burgeoning Van Life — How Colorado Became a Hotspot for Campervan Enthusiasts

A few key lifestyle metrics for Colorado show 83.6% of residents exercise, 71.5% eat healthy, 26.1% have anxiety, 2.7% of GDP is spent on outdoor recreation and 29.3% get insufficient sleep. Vermont was the only state with a higher healthy-lifestyle ranking.

The states with the best outlook for life expectancy from one to 10 are Hawaii (which led all states in life expectancy at 80.7 years), Minnesota, Vermont, Washington, New Hampshire, Utah, Colorado, Massachusetts, California and Oregon.

U.S. life expectancy has declined two years in a row to 78.5 years, and despite spending more on healthcare per capita than any other nation, the U.S. ranks No. 40 in the world behind countries such as Kuwait, Estonia and Panama, according to the study, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The recent decline was spurred on by COVID-19 and drug overdoses, but in stating the obvious, the study points out that residents in states with healthier lifestyles are more likely to see increases in longevity.


Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer’s Colorado, Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming, Frommer’s Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver’s Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected]