By Susanna Pilny, Livability.com — Many people dream of living forever—but most of us would probably just settle for a nice, long life. As it turns out, a new study out of Stanford, MIT, Harvard, McKinsey, and the U.S. Treasury may just hold the answers on where in the United States is best for people of any income to maximize their lives.
Their study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at income versus life expectancy in a sample involving more than 1.4 billion person-year observations of Americans between the ages of 40 to 76. After comparing the taxes people earned to life expectancy and where they lived, they found some places were better than the rest for living longer, depending on your income. (Hint: It’s definitely not Las Vegas, Nevada, or Gary, Indiana, both of which ranked as either the worst or second worst depending on income levels.)
For those of you in the highest income quartile (top 25% of earners) in America, here are the best options to hit a ripe old age:
1. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City came in at number one for life expectancy—perhaps not unexpectedly. Salt Lake has been listed in our 100 Best Places to Live for three years running, and it ranked in the Top 10 Best Downtowns last year. Men live on average to the age of 86.6 years, while women top out at 89 years.
2. Portland, Maine
3. Spokane, Washington
For those in the bottom income quartile (the 25% of Americans who earn the least), there is an entirely different set of cities to help you reach a ripe, old age:
1. New York, New York
2. Santa Barbara, California
3. San Jose, California