updated 3/16/2011 1:28:22 PM ET 2011-03-16T17:28:22

U.S. life expectancy has hit another all-time high, rising to about 78 years and 2 months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the estimate Wednesday. It's for a baby born in 2009, and is based on nearly all the death certificates for that year.

About 2.4 million people died in the United States in 2009 — roughly 36,000 fewer than the year before.

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More good news: The infant mortality rate hit a record low of 6.42 deaths per 1,000 live births, a drop of nearly 3 percent from 2008.

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