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Elections, Health

Illuminating America: Democrat Counties Live Longer, Fitter, and Thinner Lives… but Health Doesn’t Predict 2016 Election

The headline: In the latest from the “Illuminating America” series from Charted Territory, counties that voted for Hillary Clinton—Democrat counties—live longer, have lower obesity rates, and get more physical exercise. However, these health metrics are a poor predictor of the 2016 election results.

The chart: Percentage of county population that is obese (x-axis) plotted against Trump vote for the 2016 election. Each bubble is an individual county. All counties above 50% on the y-axis voted for Trump, counties below voted for Clinton. Bubble area is proportional to county population. Bubble color depicts whether the county was in a Red or Blue state.

The details: People in Democrat counties live 1,4 years  longer (79.3 vs. 77.9 years), have obesity rates almost 10% lower (33.1 vs. 36.6%), and are more physically active (56.2 vs. 53.3%).  However these health metrics only predict between 5.2 and 7.9% of the 2016 election result, making them the worst predictors so far.

The data: Health data (2011/2012) data were sourced from The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)1. County-level 2016 election results were compiled by Charted Territory by visiting each state’s Secretary of State web page. The data were compiled and visualized using Microsoft Excel2.


  1. http://www.healthdata.org/
  2. https://products.office.com/en-us/excel


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