The Harvard Initiative For Global Health recently published a study entitled, "Eight Americas: Investigating Mortality Disparities across Races, Counties, and Race-Counties in the United States." The study analyzed life expectancy rates for males and females across the country. The following paragraphs paraphrase excerpts from that study.
It has been recognized for a long time that the number of years that people in the United States can expect to live varies enormously. For example, white Americans tend to live longer than black Americans, and life expectancy is much greater in some of the roughly 3,000 counties of the US than it is in others.
The researchers wanted to find a way of dividing the people of the US into groups based on a small number of characteristicssuch as location of county of residence, race, and incomethat would help demonstrate the most important factors accounting for differences in life expectancy. The researchers used figures from the US Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics to calculate mortality (death) rates for the years 19822001. They took note of the county of residence and of the race of all the people who died during that period of time. After analyzing the data on how and why people died, 8 distinct groups emerged:
- northland low-income rural whites
- Middle America
- low-income whites in Appalachia and the Mississippi Valley
- western Native Americans
- black Middle America
- low-income southern rural blacks
- high-risk urban blacks
Next Page >> Arizona Life Expectancy Table, By County