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Researchers: Diminished Economic Prospects Account for Rising Mortality Rates Among Whites

According to two esteemed researchers at Princeton University, the mortality rate of whites is very much on the rise, and the culprit appears to be, of all things, growing economic hopelessness.

Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century   Brookings Institution

Specifically, say Anne Case and Angus Deaton, it is the dim financial prospects of younger, less-educated whites that are pulling the numbers down for the demographic, overall.

Case and Deaton claim that a “cumulative disadvantage” ensues over time with young whites, one that’s rooted in their inability to make solid professional headway as they ascend to adulthood. The long-term physical consequences of their personal economic troubles appear to include increases in both “deaths of despair,” like those directly connected to things like drug and alcohol use, as well as suicide…and mortality from more “regular” killers like cancer and heart disease, to which a growing number of whites’ lack of financial resources and higher levels of personal worry help facilitate.

“You used to be able to get a really good job with a high school diploma. A job with on-the-job training, a job with benefits. You could expect to move up,” Case says.

Now, however, not so much.

“Ultimately, we see our story as about the collapse of the white, high-school-educated working class after its heyday in the early 1970s, and the pathologies that accompany that decline,” write the researchers.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large

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