Life Spans Shrink for Least-Educated Whites in the U.S.

Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, September 20, 2012

For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents. But there is now mounting evidence that this enduring trend has reversed itself for the country’s least-educated whites, an increasingly troubled group whose life expectancy has fallen by four years since 1990.

Researchers have long documented that the most educated Americans were making the biggest gains in life expectancy, but now they say mortality data show that life spans for some of the least educated Americans are actually contracting. Four studies in recent years identified modest declines, but a new one that looks separately at Americans lacking a high school diploma found disturbingly sharp drops in life expectancy for whites in this group. {snip}

The reasons for the decline remain unclear, but researchers offered possible explanations, including a spike in prescription drug overdoses among young whites, higher rates of smoking among less educated white women, rising obesity, and a steady increase in the number of the least educated Americans who lack health insurance.

The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008, said S. Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the lead investigator on the study, published last month in Health Affairs. By 2008, life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma had surpassed that of white women of the same education level, the study found.

White men lacking a high school diploma lost three years of life. Life expectancy for both blacks and Hispanics of the same education level rose, the data showed. But blacks over all do not live as long as whites, while Hispanics live longer than both whites and blacks.


{snip} The latest estimate shows life expectancy for white women without a high school diploma was 73.5 years, compared with 83.9 years for white women with a college degree or more. For white men, the gap was even bigger: 67.5 years for the least educated white men compared with 80.4 for those with a college degree or better.


Researchers said they were baffled by the magnitude of the drop. Some cautioned that the results could be overstated because Americans without a high school diploma—about 12 percent of the population, down from about 22 percent in 1990, according to the Census Bureau—were a shrinking group that was now more likely to be disadvantaged in ways besides education, compared with past generations.

Professor Olshansky agreed that the group was now smaller, but said the magnitude of the drop in life expectancy was still a measure of deterioration. “The good news is that there are fewer people in this group,” he said. “The bad news is that those who are in it are dying more quickly.”



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  • US_Eurolad

    Must be that white privelege…

  • Puggg

    A high school diploma today is so easy to get that a white person who can’t get one probably isn’t really worth writing home about anyway.  It should be no surprise that their average life spans are slipping.

    • 5n4k33y3s

      I dropped out of highschool. 

  • Detroit_WASP

    I find it hard to believe that black women out-live white women in any educational level.  Hell, aren’t most black women killed by their boyfriends before they are 40?

  • WmarkW

    Because any white female who doesn’t graduate high school these days must have such a severe set of handicaps, that they don’t even qualify for a Diploma of Special Ed.

    • In most states, a Special Ed Diploma is certificate indicating completion of school up to the 1th grade, which is not a high school diploma. In most states, students have to pass a competency test in order to graduate from high school. Students usually start taking the test in their junior year and have at least 6 chances to pass before graduation. Those who do not pass the exam, do not graduate and usually cannot walk in the graduation ceremony. Those who go to summer school and pass get their diplomas in the mail. Those who do not pass get the above named completion certificate.

      • StillModerated

        Government schools are a joke. Teachers picked on my son, so I let him take the GED. He said there was nothing past 5th grade on the rather easy test. However, most of the tawny types in the room with him still failed.

  • jedsrael

    White female high school dropouts don’t live as long as black dropouts,

    because they are beaten to death by their buck nasty Diversity boyfriends.

  • Just more evidence  of the Blak Plague

  • In big cities dominated by minorites it becomes very difficult for whites to get medicaid.

  • Puggg

    I wasn’t saying that in terms of we shouldn’t advocate for our own people, I was offering an analysis, i.e. ripping off Steve Sailer.

    1991 graduate of a good suburban St. Louis public high school.

    Yes, I am aware of whites stuck in ghetto hell schools that drop out because ironically they’re too smart, not too dumb.  However, as a general rule, they’re not a large enough percentage of the overall population of white high school dropouts to affect my…er, Steve Sailer’s, analysis.

  • I wonder if getting a GED extends life expectancy? When people get a GED, many of them continue on to college or technical school and acquire skills that earn them more money that they previously made working a minimum wage job.

    • IstvanIN

       Poor whites living like and among ghetto blacks are pretty much doomed.

  • And start downloading mixed race babies and live off of welfare benefits, food stamps, and section 8.

  • Defiant White

    Where do you even start with this one? 

    (1)  A  “smaller group?”  Nonsense.  Totally different groups.  Most of the kinds of kids who could not get a diploma in 1990 can get one today because a head of cabbage can get one today.  Which means the ones who DON’T get one today are dumber than a head of cabbage.

    (2)  I am always amused to find how researchers are “baffled” (or else they are perplexed, confused, surprised, etc) by the forces libralism has unleashed.  When society becomes a giant sludge pond of negroes, coloreds, jews, atheists, sexual perverts, socialists and the just plain nutty . . . how can you NOT expect the place to stink?

    (3)  “The reasons for the decline remain unclear.”     Hmm, well then, go spend a weekend in Chicago.

    That clear it up any?

  • LaSantaHermandad

    Is it because the White female dropouts tend to consort with Black male dropouts and eventually get murdered by them? Just sayin’.

  • Beth

    It is harder to find jobs for people without high school educations these days, so what does the government do?  They allow many millions of illegal aliens as well as under educated legal immigrants.  These people take the jobs away from Americans.  It is sad that any American would not have a voice in today’s world.

  • Jon_the_I

    Has anyone else noticed that poor white people these days only prey on other poor white people? Our civilization is in desperate need of white outlaws. For all I know I could personally regret it but I would give anything for a modern Dillinger or Capone to raise havoc. Young white men who are not afraid of people in uniforms.

    • LaSantaHermandad

      Or not afraid of Melanzane!  Georgia Ave.. in Atlantic City was one of the safest streets when Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo was in charge of the local branch of La Cosa Nostra. He may have been an outrageous character but nobody messed with you in his turf.
      Same with the mob controlled section of SouthPhiladelphia. 
      Today there is hardly anyplace in either Atlantic City or Philadelphia that’s safe.

      • In many ways, the “Mafia tax” was worth it.

    • Sweet63

       yes, where are our white gangs?  I fear they have all left the playing field for the game console.

  • KevinPhillipsBong

    I saw this article posted at MSN and the number of commenters justifying the early deaths of poor whites was disgusting. Things they never would have said about poor blacks or Hispanics. 

    Taxes and job losses hit the poor first. Taxes are used to create gov jobs for nonwhites at the expense of poor whites (who lose the jobs when their boss can no longer afford to keep/hire them). There’s a similar theme in South Africa where over 130,000 whites now live in shanty towns, run out of society by a black-centric government.

    There was once a place for them in our nation.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Whites drop out because so many public schools are unsafe for them — they are punching bags for blacks and browns while administrators look the other way or make excuses for aberrant non-White behavior (remember, according to an 0bama edict, we can no longer suspend or expel black/brown kids).

    White kids are also subjected to a massive, anti-White narrative all day, every day in every single subject, in every textbook from math to English to art.  White children are taught that their people were nothing more than genocidal tyrants, rapists, slavers and conquerers with absolutely NO redeeming qualities.

    This anti-White narrative dehumanizes Whites, is pervasive and pernicious and must be stopped.  Dehumanization makes it easier to eliminate Whites.


    • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

      Some examples of the “massive, anti-white narrative” of public schools.

      Most readers of this post can imagine, with some effort, what a steady diet of sanitized textbooks does to children, but what is the effect on the creators of the new textbook “literature”? From NYU professor Diane Ravitch’s THE LANGUAGE POLICE: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (2003):

      In 1990, the New York Times described an author and an illustrator who couldn’t take the shifting [bias and sensitivity] mandates anymore….“Maybe it was the messenger at the door with another set of guidelines, updating the set she [the author] had received from the publisher a few days before. Maybe it was the elaborate recipes for an ethnic and racial mix in the cast of characters.” The article quoted an artist who stopped accepting textbook assignments in 1986 after receiving the latest instructions from the publisher for an illustration: 

      “It’s etched in acid in my mind. They sent 10 pages of single-spaced specifications. The hero was a Hispanic boy. There were black twins, on boy and one girl; an overweight Oriental boy; and an American Indian girl. That leaves the Caucasian. Since we mustn’t forget the physically disabled, she was born with congenital malformation and only had three fingers on one hand.

      “…They also had a senior citizen, and I had to show her jogging.

      “I can’t do it any more.” 

      Cleansing school literature of stereotypes and representational deficits is easy. Stories that don’t meet sensitivity guidelines can be ignored – or changed. Need more females? Make the engine of “The Little Engine That Could” female. A real example (pp 94-95). History is a challenge. History must be reinterpreted to advance social objectives. One method is to use present-day standards of behavior to evaluate people who lived in the distant past. It’s called “presentism.” Ravitch’s description of the bias guidelines for textbook publishing giant McGraw-Hill is illustrative: 

      The MH [McGraw-Hill] guidelines express barely concealed rage against people of European ancestry. They deride European Americans for exploiting slaves, migrant workers, and factory labor; they excoriate the land rapacity of the pioneers and mock their so-called courage in fighting Native Americans: ‘Bigots and Bigotry,’ say the guidelines, referring to European Americans, ‘must be identified and discussed.’ European Americans, the guidelines suggest, were uniquely responsible for bigotry and exploitation in all human history . . .  (p. 44) 

  • By 2008, life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma
    had surpassed that of white women of the same education level, the study

    ? Hard to believe.

  • potato78

    One good idea for least-educated white people to span their life is to join US navy.

  • potato78
  • 5n4k33y3s

    Every kind of woman outlives every kind of man. Men are considered disposable. There are never enough men dying to satisfy the Feminists.

  • Puggg

    The plight you described also describes a lot of white people with college diplomas.

  • Sheila Dinehart

    I guess it is because they work harder and longer for less and less money and worry a great deal more with less or no government help.  I guess they need to stay single and have more children.

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    It’s only white people. Nothing to see. Move along.

  • Sweet63

     That all doesn’t explain the number of shiftless dropouts here in all-white areas of flyover.    I think we’re just looking at the left side of the white bell curve, but flatter the dropouts by saying they were too smart for school.   (Cue Einstein anecdote…)

  • White woman are bullied by non-whites when they attempt to apply for public benefits. 

  • To Everyone here:
    This proves my point that it’s bad conditions not genetics that cause problems. Unless, you’ll going to tell me that poor whites have bad genes and poor Blacks with Latinos are superior. Farewell!!

    • ncpride

      What? Nonsense. It’s been proven time and again that genetics has A LOT to do with certain disease and conditions in all races.

  • Dan

     These White women are also the most likely to be involved with Black males. I would bet that plays a role also.

  • Puggg

    That wasn’t the point of what Steve Sailer said. I don’t interpret to to mean that we shouldn’t care, because we should. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons why they are in the predicament they are in, because there are. It comes down to the difference between rationalize (from “ratio,” meaning reason) and justify (from “just” meaning right).

  • Bobby

    Can’t you figure it out? Black men are known to be some of the biggest abusers of their own health, than any other culture in the U.S. 

  • Dave6034

    No one’s life expectancy is dropping; you’re just dividing the pool differently.  Life expectancy is highly correlated with IQ.  Female college graduates have lower average IQ than male graduates, and today’s graduates have lower IQs than 1990 graduates.  That’s because colleges (funded by easy Federal money) have made it much easier for stupid people to enroll and get degrees.