Live Beyond Expectations Regional Strategic Plan 2020-2025

Addressing Discrepancies in Life Expectancy across the Metro Region

The Atlanta Regional Commission is working to ensure that the metro region is a place where people of all ages, abilities, and incomes can live high-quality lives, regardless of location. Unfortunately, across metro Atlanta, ZIP codes tell a tale of inequity when it comes to life expectancy.

While some may attribute poor health outcomes to personal choices and genetics, research indicates the story is much more nuanced.

The discrepancies in life expectancy are rooted in a mix of complex issues that include the economic, social, and physical conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age. Interrelated factors, such as access to healthy food, sidewalks, level of education, stable housing, and safe neighborhoods, are at play. Many of these variables are outside an individual’s control, but they can be influenced by our work at ARC and that of our partners.

Live Beyond Expectations

Closing the Gap

In 2020, ARC’s Aging & Independence Services Group launched a five-year initiative that aims to improve longevity for residents of our region. The Live Beyond Expectations Regional Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is a strategic framework designed to identify and address the inequities that create disparities in life expectancy so that all people who live in the Atlanta region can lead long and healthy lives, no matter where they live.

Live Beyond Expectations Strategic Plan Framework

During the next five years, ARC, led by its Aging and Independence Services (AIS) group, will begin implementing the Live Beyond Expectations Regional Strategic Plan 2020-2025. This strategic framework is designed to identify and address the inequities that create disparities in life expectancy — explained further in this document.


It’s important to note that reducing life expectancy discrepancies is a long-range goal that can’t be fully achieved within the five-year timeframe. However, working with members of the community and partners inside and outside the agency, ARC is uniquely positioned to take this challenge on and make meaningful progress.

As the federally designated Area Agency on Aging for metro Atlanta’s 10 counties, ARC is responsible for planning, advocacy, and service delivery systems that are designed to support quality of life for older people, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers. In addition, the agency has a deep reserve of resources, including research, data analysis, and community planning in transportation, housing, arts, and employment sectors. Finally, the agency’s community partners are already engaged in related work.

Engaging External Stakeholders

We invite all interested individuals and organizations to join with ARC as we move along in identifying and addressing the inequities that create disparities in life expectancy; engaging with regional, state, and national stakeholders to bolster current partnerships; and developing new relationships and marshalling existing and new resources to support the long-term vision that all who live in the Atlanta region can lead long and healthy lives no matter where they live.

We are collaborating with communities and partners to design strategies to address disparities related to:

  • Place – Focus on locations, within each county, where residents experience the most inequity
  • Policy – Work with governmental, philanthropic, educational, nonprofit, and business leaders to improve or amend policies that create inequities and advance policies that promote equity
  • Practice – Provide services and programs that address unmet needs

Throughout the process, ARC will communicate efforts to governmental, philanthropic, educational, nonprofit, and business leaders, as well as residents across the region, in order to build support, evaluate ongoing progress, and refine efforts as needed.

If your organization is interested in learning more or joining these efforts, please contact Arin Yost at

Are you a governmental, philanthropic, educational, nonprofit, or business professional in the Atlanta region? We want to hear your perspective on key issues that impact quality of life where you work! Take Our Survey

Tracking Factors that Impact Life Expectancy

We are closely monitoring a handful of factors that affect the quality and length of life of residents across metro Atlanta. We have created individual trackers for each of the 10 counties to follow changes over time. These trackers highlight life expectancy, potential years of life lost, quality of life, financial stability, and access to health care.

Zooming in on the 10 Counties

As part of this project, we’ve created snapshots of each county in the 10-county area that show in detail factors that impact life expectancy.

The County Snapshots provide information about select social and economic characteristics that vary between locations with the highest and lowest life expectancies within each metro Atlanta county. Consideration of these factors can inform strategies that help extend lifespans and improve quality of life.

Find out what the life expectancy is in your neighborhood

Use this tool from the from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore how life expectancy in America compares with life expectancy in your area.

Year 1 Outcomes Summary

View the Live Beyond Expectations Year 1 Outcomes Summary to learn about implementation progress through September 30, 2021.

Live Beyond Expectations Newsletter

Sign up to receive periodic updates relevant to the Live Beyond Expectations Regional Strategic Plan. You can also view past newsletters.