Minnesota mostly spared in damning report on the lives of Americans

Here's a headline that ought to stop you in your God-blessing-America tracks: Americans live shorter lives than citizens of almost every other developed nation.

The American Human Development Project released its annual report last week and the findings are, as we journalists like to say, sobering.

The organization ranks the fifty states, the 436 congressional districts, and the major racial and ethnic groups.

Here's what they found:

- People in last-ranked Mississippi are living 30 years behind those in first-ranked Connecticut.

- Nationally, Asian males have the highest human development index score and African American males the lowest, with a staggering 50-year gap between the two groups.

- Despite the fact that the United States spends roughly $5.2 billion every day on health care, more per capita than any other nation in the world, Americans live shorter lives than citizens of every Western European and Nordic country except for one.

How does Minnesota rank? Not bad. We come in ninth in a ranking that considers things like earnings, life expectancy and school enrollment.

The breakdown by Congressional district has the mostly-affluent Third District (Eden Prairie, Edina, Wayzata) ranking 30th and the rural Seventh District (Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Alexandria, Willmar) ranking near--but not too near--the bottom at 289th.


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