Want to live longer? Well it seems that geography could be a factor in longevity.
The number-crunching brainiac scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have dug deep into 1.6 million death records at the Texas Department of State Health Services Center for Health Statistics. They mined that mountain of data from Texas deaths between 2005 and 2014, breaking down the information by gender as well as race/ethnicity.
Texas' sweet spot is for Hispanics living outside San Antonio in Bexar County; they can expect (on average) to live 99 years! Maybe it's all the fresh air from the neighboring Government Canyon State Natural Area.
African American populations fare best in Collin and Denton Counties north of Dallas. Closer to home the 77082 zip code, west of Sam Houston Parkway between Westpark Tollway and Westheimer, shows good results.
Looking at overall findings here in Houston, folks living in 77073 (not far from Bush Intercontinental Airport) live an average of 89.7 years, with 77007 being a close second with an average of 89.1 years. The news is less optimistic in 77026, where the average life expectancy overall is 69.8 years.
So what does it all mean? Can geography actually dictate longevity and triumph over genetics and lifestyle? Probably not, if you are morbidly obese or have a family history of heart disease or cancer. And if you're living below the poverty line or don't have access to health care, exercise, healthy food choices, or live in a neighborhood with high crime rates, then the deck is certainly stacked against you.
But it is quite possible that the regions with longer life expectancy have lower pollution rates, neighborhoods that encourage taking long walks, access to fresh and nutritious foods, opportunities for social interaction, and other factors that result in lower stress levels. Overall it's a fascinating report and has been paired with an interactive map so that we can all input our zip codes and learn more about what big data has revealed. Visit utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2019/life-expectancy-texas-zipcode.html.
And if you're interested in hedging your bets and moving to the 77073 zip code, here are a few properties available on the market right now.
Located on a quiet cul de sac, this two-story traditional at 20706 Trellis Lane in Woodcreek includes an in-ground pool, covered patio, and parquet floors in the home office/library. The property has been listed by Century 21 Olympian Fine Homes for $199,900.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Find soaring ceilings, white tile throughout, and a game room (or optional seventh bedroom) in this 2004 traditional home at 303 Gateship in Northridge Park West. The property has been listed by The Professionals Group for $259,900.
Although built in 1971, this property at 1215 Calderwood in Inverness Forest features immaculate landscaping, a covered backyard patio overlooking a pool, and a garage apartment for when family comes to visit. The property has been listed by Lions Gate Realty for $227,000.
Enjoy morning coffee off the second floor balcony/porch area of this traditional home built in 2006 at 1110 Verde Trails in the Remington Ranch subdivision. The property has been listed by Norma Wiltz Realty for $1,400/month (rental).
A cozy front porch, low-E windows, light tile throughout, and a large backyard patio for entertaining make this three bedroom traditional at 543 Silky Leaf Lane in Remington Ranch easy to clean and maintain. The property has been listed by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene - Champions for $136,000.