U.S. Life Expectancy Passes 78

Maybe this good news will keep them from crying: babies born in 2009 have a life expectancy of 78 years and two months, according to the Centers for Disease Control—an all-time high. The new figure is based on a drop in the number of deaths, which fell by 36,000 in 2009 to 2.4 million. One cause for concern: despite the overall life-expectancy increase, it held steady for black Americans.