Increased Numbers Of Deaths For Middle-Aged White Americans Alarming; "Death Of Despair" The Reason?

By Jeff Thompson - 24 Mar '17 18:11PM

The increased rate of deaths in middle-aged white Americans has been posing a concern for some time, and people are clueless about the reasons behind it. Now, two economists at Princeton University found the reason behind it, and they call it as "Deaths of Despair" that means the deaths are because of declining economic opportunity along with alcohol, obesity, suicide, and drug abuse especially among the non-graduated whites.

The husband-and-wife economists Angus Deaton and Ann Case did a survey in 2015 and found that absence of steady income without college degrees have caused distress, pain, and social dysfunction getting developed over the period. This is especially true between the age group from 45 to 54, the death rate found to be steadily increasing by 0.5 percent from the period of 1999 to 2013. On the other hand, educated whites did not face any sufferings like lack of economic opportunities and hence, did not meet any such fate.

The survey the couple did also showed that the death rate of non-Hispanic whites with high school degree or lesser was found to be 30 percent more than blacks in 2015. It should be noted that in 1999, the same group was having a death rate 30 percent less than of blacks. "This is actually a collapse of working class whites," said Deaton. "The job market has turned very much adverse to them." There is no exception in the case of rural or urban in death rates, but the only difference noted is education. But, the lifestyle deaths were found to be reported higher in states like Nevada while it is lowest in Utah.

Quite surprisingly, the study also showed that the mortality rate among all the others groups has been decreased over the period except non-Hispanic whites. "Mortality rate was going down for almost 100 years, and then all of a sudden it started reversing the process, and this has created an intriguing question on us - why?" said Deaton.

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