Best places for a long life

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

17 of 25
17. Dakota County, MN
17. Dakota County, MN
Towns include: Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Rosemount
Life expectancy at birth: 79.97 years

Apple Valley, in Dakota County, has become a leader in environmental projects that lower emissions and improve citizens' health."We've been very forward-thinking in terms of green building, reforestation, and making our environment one that's very healthy and active," says Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland. The town is known for promoting green building and has been awarded a grant from the Great Plains Institute to become a model community for energy efficiency.

Dakota County residents can get regular exercise in Lebanon Hills Regional Park, the crown jewel in the county's extensive park system, which offers year-round recreation.

NEXT: 18. Bergen County, NJ

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