Americans die younger in states with more conservative policies, while states with more liberal policies are associated with lower mortality rates, according to a new study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One.
Researchers analyzed mortality rates for all causes of death in all 50 states from 1999 to 2019 among adults aged 25 to 64. They compared that to state data on policy measures such as gun safety, labor, marijuana policy, economic taxes and tobacco taxes.
According to their simulation, if all states had switched to fully liberal policies, then 171,030 lives would have been saved in 2019.
If all states had switched to fully conservative policies, that could have cost an additional 217,635 lives, according to the study.
Researchers wrote the data is “striking” because modern U.S. society is becoming hyperpolarized and involves “growing policy divergence across states.”