County life expectancy lower than state rate

Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The life expectancy in Chilton County is almost four years lower than the state average and seven years less than the national average, according to a new study recently released by Auburn University Montgomery.

The study has determined that a child born in Chilton County would live 71.5 years, which ranks the fifth lowest out of all 67 counties. The statewide average is 75.1 years compared to 77.8 years for the U.S. average.

The study also determined that the county’s infant mortality rate, the number of deaths for infants under age 1 per 1,000 live births, is 12.3. That number is almost double that of the state’s rate.

This new information was released on the 2008 Alabama Health Data Sheet produced by AUM’s Center for Demographic Research. The data contains estimates for the year 2006.

The lowest life expectancy rate was found in Bullock County with 69.3 years. Shelby and Baldwin counties tied for the highest rates with 77.7 years.

The life expectancy for other surrounding counties were 71.9 for Bibb, 73.5 for Coosa, 73.7 for Autauga, 70.6 for Dallas, 70.4 for Perry and 76 for Elmore. The life expectancy rate is the average number of years a newborn would be expected to live if health and living conditions at the time of birth remain constant throughout his or her life.

On infant mortality, Chilton’s rate is the 12th highest rate in the state. Pickens County has the highest mortality rate at 29.3 followed by Clarke with 24.5 and Bibb with 23.3. Clay, Cleburne and Hale counties all had a zero mortality rate.

According to the study, the estimated population of Chilton County is 41,750, which is a 5.4 increase from the 2000 Census. There are an estimated 4,992 black and other minority residents in Chilton County. More than 26 percent of the population is under age 20 while almost 17 percent is over age 65.

The overall state population has grown by 3.2 percent to around 4.6 million residents.