As ‘Deaths Of Despair’ Among White Adults Spike, Researchers Identify Root Causes
Husband-and-wife economists find links between the job market and the mortality-rate jump among middle-aged, less-educated white Americans from drugs, alcohol-related diseases and suicide.
The Washington Post:
New Research Identifies A ‘Sea Of Despair’ Among White, Working-Class Americans
Sickness and early death in the white working class could be rooted in poor job prospects for less-educated young people as they first enter the labor market, a situation that compounds over time through family dysfunction, social isolation, addiction, obesity and other pathologies, according to a study published Thursday by two prominent economists. (Achenbach and Keating, 3/23)
The Forces Driving Middle-Aged White People's 'Deaths Of Despair'
In 2015, when researchers Ann Case and Angus Deaton discovered that death rates had been rising dramatically since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans, they weren't sure why people were dying younger, reversing decades of longer life expectancy. Now the husband-and-wife economists say they have a better understanding of what's causing these "deaths of despair" by suicide, drugs and alcohol. (Boddy, 3/23)
The Wall Street Journal:
Death Rates Rise For Wide Swath Of White Adults, Study Finds
Mortality has been rising since the turn of this century for an even broader swath of white adults, starting at age 25, the researchers found, driven by troubles in a hard-hit working class. Death rates for white non-Hispanics with a high-school education or less now exceed those of blacks overall, the pair said—and they’re 30% higher for whites age 50 to 54 than for blacks overall of that age. (McKay, 3/23)
The Associated Press:
Less-Educated Middle-Age US Whites Dying Younger Than Others
"This is a story of the collapse of the white working class," [Angus] Deaton said in an interview. "The labor market has very much turned against them." Those dynamics helped fuel the rise of President Donald Trump, who won widespread support among whites with only a high school degree. Yet Deaton said his policies are unlikely to reverse these trends, particularly the health care legislation now before the House that Trump is championing. That bill would lead to higher premiums for older Americans, the Congressional Budget Office has found. (Rugaber, 3/23)