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Health Indicator Report of Life Expectancy From Birth

Life Expectancy is often used to gauge the overall health of a community. Shifts in life expectancy are often used to describe trends in mortality. Being able to predict how populations will age has enormous implications for the planning and provision of services and supports. Small increases in life expectancy translate into large increases in the population. As the life expectancy of a population lengthens, the number of people living with chronic illnesses tends to increase because chronic illnesses are more common among older persons.
New Mexico life expectancy appears to show a leveling-off of the gains we have experienced over the past decades. That trend is consistent with national data on life expectancy.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,
  • U.S. Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, ]]

Data Interpretation Issues

Life expectancy at birth is strongly influenced by infant and child mortality; life expectancy later in life, such as at age 65, reflects death rates at or above a given age and is independent of mortality at younger ages.


Life expectancy is an estimate of the expected average number of years of life (or a person's age at death) for individuals who were born into a particular population. Life expectancy is sensitive to deaths to younger persons, such as infant mortality and injury deaths.


Not applicable. For information on life expectancy calculation, please see


See numerator note.

Other Objectives

New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

Women typically outlive men. Using the mortality experience of New Mexicans in 2017, females living in New Mexico can expect to live 81.2 years, and males can expect to live 75.3 years.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

For New Mexico residents, life expectancy from birth is similar to that of their U.S. counterparts.

What Is Being Done?

Life expectancy has been increasing for... well, since records have been kept. Now that people are living longer, it is important to look at ways that those added years can be lived in good health. Exercise, healthy diet and weight, not smoking, moderate use of alcohol and injury prevention habits such as wearing seat belts all contribute to a healthy life span.

Evidence-based Practices

Prevention and control of infectious diseases has had a profound impact on life expectancy during the 20th century. In the United States life expectancy at birth from 1900 to 2000 increased from 48 to 74 years for men, and from 51 to 79 years for women. In contrast to life expectancy at birth, which increased sharply early in the century, life expectancy at age 65 improved primarily after 1950. Among U.S. men, life expectancy at age 65 rose from 12 to 16 years from 1950 to 2000, and among women from 12 to 19 years. Improvements in nutrition, hygiene, and medical care contributed to decreases in death rates throughout the lifespan
Page Content Updated On 04/20/2018, Published on 05/01/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sat, 29 January 2022 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 1 May 2019 13:02:16 MDT