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Which Americans Live Longest? Education Matters More Now Than Race

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MONDAY, March 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A four-year college degree is becoming the key to living a longer life in the United States, a new study argues. In fact, education appears to be a more potent factor in determining lifespan now than race, researchers say.

In the study, white and Black people who earned a bachelor’s degree experienced an overall increase in their average adult life expectancy between 2010 and 2018 .

On the other hand, people without a college degree tended to have fewer expected years left to them.

This “education gap” in life expectancy more than doubled between 1990 and 2018 for both Black and white Americans — at the same time that race-based differences in life expectancy decreased by 70%, researchers said.

About one-third of Americans have a four-year college degree, and they are living longer and more prosperous lives while the rest face rising death rates and declining prospects, said researcher Angus Deaton, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Center for Health Policy and Economics.

“The importance of having a BA has been increasing, while the importance of the color of your skin seems to be diminishing,” Deaton said. “The gap between Blacks and whites is […]

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