Semester of Graduation

Summer 2018


Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



This study sought to establish the impact of the disparities between Metropolitan, Micropolitan and Non-Core communities on life expectancy. The study also assesses the impact of individual behavioral choices and certain social variables and county level policies one the life expectancy in a county.

A simple mean comparison analysis is employed to establish the differences in life expectancy across the various levels of the urban hierarchy in 1,553 counties in the United States. An ordinary least squares model is used to tease out the relationship between specific individual choice factors; smoking habits, obesity and exercise habits and socio-economic factors; medicare dollar per enrollee, income segregation in the county, social capital index of the county, percentage of the population foreign born in the county and the unemployment rate in 2000 and life expectancy. This study also estimates the effects of each correlate at various levels of the urban hierarchy.

The study concluded that the effects of both individual choice factors and socio-economic variables differ greatly across the various levels of rurality. This study adds to the existing body of knowledge on the subject of longevity and also assists policy makers in formulating health and economic policies that target these geographic areas.



Committee Chair

Fannin, James Matthew