Hispanics in the United States outlive whites by two-and-a-half years and blacks by nearly eight years, government researchers said yesterday, adding that clean living may play a role.

They said the life expectancy for a Hispanic baby at birth is nearly 81, compared with 78 years for non-Hispanic white babies and just under 73 for black babies.

U.S. residents born in 2006 can expect to live 77.7 years, according to the new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

It shows that Hispanics have a higher life expectancy at nearly all ages, though U.S. Hispanics tend to be poorer than the population as a whole.

“Although seemingly paradoxical, these results are consistent with the findings of numerous studies,” said Elizabeth Arias of the CDC.