Best places for a long life

Residents of these 25 counties enjoy some of the highest life expectancies in the U.S.

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22. Howard County, MD
22. Howard County, MD
Centennial Park
Towns include: Columbia, Elkridge, Ellicott City, North Laurel
Life expectancy at birth: 79.73 years

Howard County's largest city, Columbia, has had quality of life built in from day one. Built around a system of villages connected by walking and biking paths as well as roads, Columbia offers a sense of community and opportunities to integrate exercise into your everyday routine, both of which have been shown to prolong life.

The city, planned by famous developer James Rouse in the 1960s, was designed to be a better suburb, and it has largely lived up to its goal: Columbia is a perennial on Money's Best Places to Live list. So is nearby Ellicott City, which boasts a charming historic main street and the award-winning Chesapeake Shakespeare company.

NEXT: 23. Orange County, CA (tie with Larimer County)

Last updated September 22 2008: 11:08 AM ET
Source: Life expectancy stats from consultant Bert Sperling of BestPlaces.net, Centers for Disease Control.
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