Child Life Expectancy Varies By County Wealth

May 27, 2015

Babies born in wealthy counties are expected to live longer than those born in poorer ones.
Credit Tulane Publications via Flickr/Creative Commons

A baby born in Orange County can expect to live to be nearly 82 years old. That's according to health data analysis by the independent children's advocacy group NC Child.

But Research and Data Director Laila Bell says children in poorer counties aren't likely to live as long. A newborn in Rockingham County is unlikely to reach the age of 76.

"That's really associated with a number of factors like higher child poverty rates. There are also higher rates of food insecurity. And that means that children are living in homes that really struggle to provide access to enough healthy, nutritious foods to support their development."

Here's an interactive map with data cards by county.

Bell says mothers of children in poorer counties have limited access to pre-natal care. Children in those areas are less likely to have health insurance.

NC Child supports Medicaid expansion, infant mortality prevention, and early intervention services for young children.