MIAMI ( – Florida has sometimes been called “God’s Waiting Room” for the older population that often retires to the Sunshine State. But, it turns out that phrase may apply to the Deep South, but not necessarily to Florida, according to a new study.

The study, from Population Health Metrics, found that the lowest life expectancies for both sexes were in Appalachia and the Deep South and extending across Northern Texas. The study found that “clusters of counties with high life expectancies” included counties in: Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, California, and Florida.

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In fact, in South Florida the average life expectancy is among the highest in the entire state of Florida and the Deep South.

But according to the study, from 2000-2007, “life expectancy in the U.S. and most of its counties fell behind the progress seen in other nations.”

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In addition, the inequality of life expectancy is “substantially larger in the U.S. than in the UK, Canada, or Japan.” The study also noted that in several demographics, the U.S. has fallen behind what the study called the international frontier of life expectancy.

The international frontier was defined as the “average life expectancy of the 10 countries with the lowest mortality for each year from 1950 to 2010.”

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Based on that number, the study found that from 2000 to 2007, more than 85 percent of all counties in the U.S. have fallen further behind the international life expectancy frontier. That comes despite the fact that the U.S. spent the most per capita on health care throughout those years.