*Life expectancy in America has reached an all-time high. According to figures released this past Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a baby born in 2009 can expect to live to 78 years and two months. However, the improvement in longevity over 2008 did not affect African Americans.
Black life expectancy remained stable. Nevertheless, Black females continued to outlive both Black males and white males. Between Blacks and whites, the longest living group was white females.
In 2009, a white female could expect to live to be 80.9 years of age. She was followed by Black females with a life expectancy of 77.4 years. White males placed third at 76.2 years while the typical Black male can expect to live to be 70.9 years of age. This marks the second year in a row that average Black male life expectancy exceeded 70 years. For decades, life expectancy for Black male held stubbornly below 70.
The CDC offered no explanation as to why longevity for African Americans failed to increase in 2009.
Meanwhile, the leading causes of death in America remained heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, strokes, and accidents. While it gets a lot of media attention, AIDS was not even among the top 15 causes of death.
Highlighting the violent nature of life in America, homicide was the 15th leading cause of death in the country. Homicide victims totaled 16,591 in 2009. Interesting, the 10th leading cause of death was suicide. Over 36,000 Americans took their lives in 2009.