Life Expectancy Trend by Race/Ethnicity in the Finger Lakes Region

Finger Lakes Region

A long-troubling pattern in the Finger Lakes region has been the health outcomes disparity for residents based on race and ethnicity. This is shown in a stark fashion here. Until 2015, the life expectancy gap between Black Non-Latino residents and those of other racial and ethnic groups was slowly closing. In recent years, the impact of COVID, homicide, and drug overdoses have impacted the Black Non-Latino population more than other groups, leading to a 5.8 year drop in life expectancy from 2018 to 2021. This drop has led to an increase in the disparity between Black Non-Latinos and other groups to be the largest since 2000. In this same time period, White Non-Latinos were the least affected, losing only 1.4 years of life expectancy while the Latino community has lost 4.1 years.

Methodology note: Years of potential life lost (YPLL) is a widely used measure to assess the rate of premature mortality. YPLL places a larger weight on the deaths of younger people, in contrast with overall mortality statistics which are dominated by deaths of the elderly. The YPLL rates in Common Ground Health analyses are derived using 75 years as the baseline. A death at age 65 has YPLL of 10, where as a death at age 35 has a YPLL of 40. The rates are calculated per 100,000 population and are age-sex adjusted to account for differences in population distribution.

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