Life expectancy is a measure often used to gauge the overall health of a population. As a summary measure of mortality, life expectancy represents the average number of years of life at birth that could be expected if current death rates were to remain constant. Shifts in life expectancy are often used to describe trends in mortality. Life expectancy at birth is strongly influenced by infant and child mortality. Improvements in nutrition, housing, hygiene, medical care, and prevention, treatment and control of diseases, contribute to decreases in death rates throughout the lifespan and increases in average life expectancy.
Life expectancy in Florida surpassed that of the US in 2000 through 2014, the last available year for the US data. life expectancy in 2015 was 79.1. For thirty years before 2000, US and Florida life expectancy followed a similar positive trend. Florida white women have had a constant pattern of higher life expectancy than any other group in Florida, with a 2015 expectancy of 82.3 years. Black women and women of other races have recently crossed the 80-year life expectancy threshold with a 2015 life expectancy of 80.6 years. White men have gained about 10 years in life expectancy since 1970, with a 2015 life expectancy of 76.6 years. Black men have had the largest improvement, with a 16-year life expectancy gain from 58.4 years in 1970 to 74.5 years in 2015.