Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Non-Hispanic White Life Expectancy Declines

Ok, it's official. Non-Hispanic White life expectancy at birth fell between 2013 and 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The drop seems minuscule—from 78.9 to 78.8 years. But here's why the small decline is big news...

  • The life expectancy of Hispanics and Blacks increased between 2013 and 2014, making non-Hispanic Whites the only segment to experience a decline.
  • Life expectancy at age 65 increased for non-Hispanic White men and women, so the decline occurred among non-Hispanic Whites under age 65—a disturbing trend.

Over the past few months, several studies have documented a decline in non-Hispanic White life expectancy, attributing it to drug overdoses, suicides, and alcohol poisoning among the middle aged. Now the federal government has weighed in with the numbers, making it official.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014

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