A Big Apple a day might help keep the Grim Reaper away: Newborn New Yorkers can now expect to live a lot longer than the average American, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says. At 80.6, the city's life expectancy—which was long well below the national average—is up almost three years from 2000 rates and is more than two years above the national rate of 78.2 years. When compared to states, New York City's life expectancy is now lower than only those of Hawaii and Minnesota.
"If you have friends and relatives that you deeply care about and they live elsewhere, on average if they move to New York City, they will live longer," said Bloomberg, who has campaigned against smoking, obesity, and salt. Despite Bloomberg's efforts, health officials say the biggest factor in the city's rising life expectancy is improved HIV testing and treatment, the New York Times notes. The HIV mortality rate was down a whopping 51.9% last year over 2002. (Read more life expectancy stories.)