After studying death records from across the US, researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics found that the average life expectancy for people living in Chatham County is 81.2 years old. This finding places Chatham County fourth in the state for life expectancy. Neighboring Orange County was ranked first, following by Watauga County (2nd) and Wake County (3rd). As a point of comparison, the average life expectancy for the entirety of the U.S. is 78.6 years, according to as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in 2017.
But in two small census tract’s in Chatham Count’s northeast corner, people are living even longer – averaging between 90 and 104 years old. These tracts include the communities of Fearrington Village and The Preserve at Jordan Lake.
Census tracts, which provide uniform geographic units for data presentation, allow statistical comparisons to be made from census to census. They generally have between 1,200 and 8,000 people, with an optimum size of 4,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Why are People Living Longer in Northeast Chatham?
For years Chatham’s population has been growing, especially among retirees. Northeast Chatham County is largely rural but has easy access to cultural activities, top-rated hospitals and a low cost of living, as compared to neighboring Wake, Orange, and Durham counties. Additionally, it has many outdoor amenities like Jordan Lake, the Haw River, and the American Tobacco Trail.
As Chatham Park begins development it will give residents even greater accessibility to top entertainment, restaurants, healthcare, and outdoor activities, all while maintaining the rural feel that Chatham County residents desire.