US Presidents Tend to Outlive General Population

Results from a new study go against popular belief that presidents age more rapidly while in office.

By: Melissa Romero

President Obama could live beyond the male average life expectancy, despite having one of the most high-stress jobs in the US. Official White House Photograph by Pete Souza

Yes, President Obama may be sprouting a few more gray hairs these days, but he’ll still probably outlive you in the long run.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that contrary to popular belief, presidents tend to live longer than other men. S. Jay Olshansky, the study’s lead researcher, found that 23 of 34 presidents who died of natural causes actually lived longer than the average life expectancy of men during their lifetime.

Of the past eight presidents who died of natural causes, the only one to die before his projected life span was Lyndon Johnson, who suffered a heart attack at the age of 64.

So what’s their secret? They can owe their longevity to three things, Olshansky told USA Today: 16-plus years of education, access to good health care—oh, yeah, and being wealthy.

For more information on the study, click here.