To develop the health indicator for the Cascadia Scorecard, Sightline Institute (formerly Northwest Environment Watch) researchers examined average lifespans throughout the Northwest. British Columbians, it turns out, are outliving other Northwest residents by about two and a half years.

In an article in our new monthly Scorecard newsletter, we examine equally stark differences in lifespans between neighboring counties in the Northwest (three years in one case), and explore a main driver of those differences: economic inequality. (Click here to go to the complete newsletter issue.)

Growing disparities might help explain why, although US lifespans have been increasing, gains have been meager compared to other industrialized nations. This trend is reflected in other population health indicators, such as average height.