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Americans Are Living Longer Than Ever

FILE - Jeremiah Gerbracht, a retired dog trainer, rides his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his dog on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. health officials say Americans are living longer than ever, with life expectancy moving up and death rates falling.

Using 2012 data, the government said Wednesday the life expectancy for a child born then is now nearly 79 years, a new longevity record. U.S. women can expect to live 81.2 years, but men only 76.4 years.

The infant mortality rate in the country dropped to a new low of just under six deaths out of every 1,000 births, although the U.S. rate continues to be higher than in most European countries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the death rate for blacks and whites in the U.S. has dropped but held steady for Hispanics.

The two leading causes of death remained the same -- heart disease and cancer.

Material for this report came from AP.