Friday, November 14, 2014

Life expectancy at 75, or why are Hispanics living longer?

Bobs & Rick 2

Bob senior (b. 1913) and sons shortly before his death at 93.

Life expectancy is usually given for birth year, but you can also figure it from current age. Hispanics in the U.S. have the highest life expectancy, then white non-Hispanic, then black non-Hispanic. This applies at birth and ages 65 and 75. So something other than income and government benefits is at work. Those in the upper ranges are all pre-War on Poverty and pre-126 wealth transfer programs. Based on the CDC figures, I think I’ll go with my Mom and Dad’s ages—88 and 89. My two grandfathers were around 93.  My husband’s father was 93.

"Hispanic" is a made up word to refer to people whose families come from a Spanish speaking country--Cuba, Mexico, South America (not sure if Brazilians are called Hispanic), etc. Generally, they are of European ancestry with a mix of Indian.

Divorce rates are lower; marriage rates are higher for Hispanic households. Hispanics are less likely to co-habit. Living together without marriage does not provide the health and wealth benefits of marriage. If it is an inter-ethnic marriage, those figures hold. Hispanic families are more likely to attend church than other groups. All these factors affect health (and wealth). However, more education = higher divorce rate. Since 2001 the largest minority in the U.S. population, Hispanics now have the highest college enrollment rate for freshmen since 2012, Will we see a lower life expectancy as they take on the culture of the majority?

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