Why Middle Class Whites Are Dying Faster (In 6 Painful Charts)

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Julia Belluz via Vox.com,

In 2015, a blockbuster study came to a surprising conclusion: Middle-aged white Americans are dying younger for the first time in decades, despite positive life expectancy trends in other wealthy countries and other segments of the US population.

The research, by Princeton University’s Anne Case and Angus Deaton, highlighted the links between economic struggles, suicides, and alcohol and drug overdoses.

Since then, Case and Deaton have been working to more fully explain their findings.

They’ve now come to a compelling conclusion: It’s complicated. There’s no single reason for this disturbing increase in the mortality rate, but a toxic cocktail of factors.

In a new 60-page paper, “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st Century,” out in draft form in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Thursday, the researchers weave a narrative of “cumulative disadvantage” over a lifetime for white people ages 45 through 54, particularly those with low levels of education.

Along with worsening job prospects over the past several decades, this group has seen their chances of a stable marriage and family decline, along with their overall health. To manage their despair about the gap between their hopes and what’s come of their lives, they’ve often turned to drugs, alcohol, and suicide.

Meanwhile, gains in fighting heart disease have stalled, and rates of obesity and diabetes have ploddingly climbed.

So the rise in mortality for white mid-life people in America since the late 1990s is actually the final stage of a decades-long process. “It’s about the collapse of white middle class,” said Case. Here are the five big takeaways from the researchers’ new opus.

1) Suicides, alcohol, and drug overdose deaths have gone up across the entire country. (Read: It’s not just a rural problem.)


“Deaths of despair” — or suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses, particularly from opioid painkillers — are a growing problem for midlife white people.

As you can see on the left-hand map, the epidemic started in the Southwest. Now it’s “country-wide,” the study authors write, and the increase can be “seen at every level of residential urbanization in the US.” So it’s not just a rural problem or an urban problem — it’s both.

The crisis is particularly acute among middle-aged whites. “The deaths of despair come from a long-standing process of cumulative disadvantage for those with less than a college degree,” Case and Deaton write. “The story is rooted in the labor market, but involves many aspects of life, including health in childhood, marriage, child rearing, and religion.”


In an interview, Deaton explained, “The cohort that entered the labor market in the ’70s on down, their jobs earnings and prospects are worse. That affected their marriage prospects. Marriages got screwed up. They had children out of wedlock. Their pain levels [are] going up.” All that contributes to the deaths of despair.

The study authors don’t see the opioid supply as the fundamental factor here, but “prescription of opioids for chronic pain added fuel to the flames, making the epidemic much worse than it otherwise would have been,” they wrote.

The impact of rising deaths of despair on overall mortality was masked until the late 1990s by the decline of heart disease deaths. But recently that has changed too.

2) Deaths from chronic diseases such as diabetes have been rising

County-level mortality from diabetes, urogenital, blood, and endocrine diseases between 1980 and 2014. You can see these trending up all over the country. JAMA

Progress against mortality from heart disease has slowed and stopped, and deaths from cancer, which had been on a steady decline, are also stagnating in this group.

Meanwhile, other chronic diseases have continued to rise in the whole population, particularly among middle-aged white people. Diabetes’ prevalence has exploded in the US over the past 20 years. Nearly 30 million Americans live with the disease today — more than three times the number in the early 1990s. And this may be a major, underappreciated driver of the mortality trend.

3) The least-educated Americans are suffering the most


The rise in mortality among middle-aged whites is largely being driven by those with a high school degree or less. The researchers find that the gap in mortality between more and less educated is increasing, while mortality is also rising for those without a college degree and falling for those with a college degree.

“It looks like there are two Americas,” Case said. “One for people who went to college and one that didn’t.”

The middle-aged whites with less than a bachelor’s degree saw “progress stop in mortality from heart disease and cancer, and saw increases in chronic lower respiratory disease and deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide,” the researchers write.

Why education is such an important health indicator is difficult to untangle, Case added. “But when you think about what happens when industries pull out of towns, the tax base implodes, schools [are] not well funded, and the death spiral continues.”

In the past, people with low levels of education could get a job in a factory and work their way up the chain of command. “You could graduate high school, work at Bethlehem Steel, get more money every year as you get more experienced,” Deaton said, “and turn yourself into one of the famed blue-collar aristocrats of the 1970s.” Now, he added, “There’s a feeling that life has gone, and remainders of that life are getting less and less for each generation.”

To be clear, the study authors don’t buy the idea that one’s income relative to what one expected is influencing mortality. Rather, “It’s the life you expected to have relative to your father or grandfather — it’s just not there anymore,” Deaton said.

4) Other nonwhite racial groups aren’t experiencing the same mortality uptick — so it’s not just about income


As you can see here, mortality for middle-aged black people converged with mortality for middle-aged white people with low levels of education in the late 2000s (though the white population overall is still doing better than African Americans). Meanwhile, mortality rates among Hispanics continued to fall.

These other racial groups aren’t necessarily doing any better economically than their white counterparts, which is part of the reason Case and Deaton don’t accept a simple income explanation for the death uptick.

“It is possible that it is not the last 20 years that matters, but rather that the long-run stagnation in wages and in incomes has bred a sense of hopelessness,” they write. “But ... even if we go back to the late 1960s, the ethnic and racial patterns of median family incomes are similar for whites, blacks, and Hispanics, and so can provide no basis for their sharply different mortality outcomes after 1998.”

Instead, the researchers think the fact that the overall life prospects for white middle-aged people without a BA have declined over time — they are doing worse than their parents on both a personal and professional level, and probably worse than they expected — is nudging mortality downward. This regression is different from the story of progress in the African American community, for example. Here’s Case and Deaton again:

The historian Carol Anderson argued in an interview in Politico (2016) that for whites “if you’ve always been privileged, equality begins to look like oppression,” and contrasts the pessimism among whites with the “sense of hopefulness, that sense of what America could be, that has been driving black folks for centuries.” That hopefulness is consistent with the much lower suicide rates among blacks, but beyond that, while suggestive, it is hard to confront such accounts with the data.

5) This story is unique to the US


The US, particularly middle-aged white Americans, is an outlier in the developed world when it comes to this mid-life mortality uptick.

“Mortality rates in comparable rich countries have continued their pre-millennial fall at the rates that used to characterize the US,” Case and Deaton write. “In contrast to the US, mortality rates in Europe are falling for those with low levels of educational attainment, and are doing so more rapidly than mortality rates for those with higher levels of education.”

If American wants to turn the trend around, then it has to become a little more like other countries with more generous safety nets and more accessible health care, the researchers said. Introducing a single-payer health system, for example, or value-added or goods and services taxes that support a stronger safety net would be top of their policy wish list. (America right now is, of course, moving in the opposite direction under Trump, and shredding the safety net.)

They also admit, though, that it’s taken decades to reverse the mortality progress in America, and it won’t be turned around quickly or easily. But there is one “no-brainer” change that could help, Case added. “The easy thing would be close the tap on prescription opioids for chronic pain.”

Unlike health care and increasing taxes, opioids are actually a public health issue with bipartisan support. Deaton, for his part, was hopeful. Paraphrasing Milton Friedman, he said, “All policy seems impossible until it suddenly becomes inevitable.”


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red1chief's picture

Guns, religion and the one Barry O. he left out. Meth.

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) red1chief Mar 26, 2017 6:43 PM

One retired friend told me last summer:

"Do you know why husbands die before their wifes do?"

Because We Want to !"

Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing The Big Cities In Preparation For The Coming American Apocalypse




New_Meat's picture

The answer to the "Why" question is: "All part of the Master Plan."

Future Jim's picture

I'm absolutely certain that it's not because Obama's DHS targeted white children.


Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Future Jim Mar 26, 2017 6:52 PM

Jews did this

shocktherapy's picture

yes its everyone eles's fault.

Out of 352 men and 83 women in the House of Representatives

White 78.%

Out of 79 men and 21 women in the Senate

White 90%

Twee Surgeon's picture

We do not have retirement plan, based on the info available our retirement plan looks like catching a Bayonet or Bullet from a fifth generation .Gov employee Patriot.

Retirement is French for 'House with Groceries that needs burning' The Healthcare plan is called Kevlar and know how.

evoila's picture

it's because middle class whites have to sit in front of a computer for 10 hours a day until such time they formulate some sort of disease related to their sedentary life. And then they go home and eat food laced with what are essentially poison, and continue with their sedentary life in front of the dumb box.



Twee Surgeon's picture

A famous Health Author ' Jim Fix' wrote and sold millions of books about the benefits of jogging and then his heart exploded on the joggy trail at the age of 52. Dead like you will be.

William Burroughs was an adult life long homosexual heroin addict and died in his 80's. The world doesn't work in the way that you prefer to delude yourself that it does. Judge not lest ye be judged by the same measure.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs9w5bgtJC8 Burroughs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs9w5bgtJC8 Fix,

It don't work that way, amigo.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"researchers weave a narrative of “cumulative disadvantage” over a lifetime for white people ages 45 through 54, particularly those with low levels of education."~

Kind of blows a hole in the theory of "white privilege", doesn't it? So what's the take-away from this? Uneducated people die sooner than educated ones? It sucks to be white, male and dumb? Don't do drugs, liquor or wild women in excess?

Okay, scratch that. There is no such thing as excess when it comes to wild women since Viagra.

land_of_the_few's picture

His name was actually Jim Fixx not Fix. He had a hugely enlarged heart and 3 coronary arteries almost completely clogged, both probably starting from before he took up running, and he refused diagnostic tests. Presumably Burroughs' heart and arteries were in good condition.  Another interesting one was the US based organic food pioneer J. I. Rodale who died of a heart attack filming a show in a TV studio. He said something like "I will live to be 100 if I don't get run over by a sugar-crazed taxi driver" and "I never felt better" 

He also believed the following things:

"Happy people don't get cancer"

"The Negroes are a happy race"

"Segregation makes negroes happier", therefore.. you guessed it! Presumably he hated and feared doctors... :D




TheMaskedMarauder's picture

Jim Fixx started running at age 35 and was overweight and smoking 2 packs a day. His father died at age 43 of a heart attack. The damage had already been done. People didn't realize you can't reverse damage already done to you cardiovascular system. The decline that comes with age along with his prior bad habits did him in.  Wikipedia Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Fixx

Running_Trillion's picture

That plays a minor role. Japs do too, they'll live 100 years old, no diabetes or heart disease.

It's the diet. Healthy diet is Low fat, high carb. noodles and rice, etc. yam! Murricans eat fatty foods, meat, cheese, dairy. 48hours you could see your bloodwork go south with that kind of eating.

aurum4040's picture

Diet is definitely a part of the equation. Japs eat more fish and take in far more polyphenols than US citizens. Green tea = polyphenols. There are alot of other factors as well, but diet is big. Income obviously affects diet selection and, in most cases, diet intelligence/awareness. 

canisdirus's picture

Japanese food is also safer and even the processed food is more strictly controlled by regulations.

A little closer to home: I lost a huge amount of weight when I lived in Canada for a few months, in spite of eating a lot of packaged foods, fast food, and similar. Their food is so different that I had withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks as my gut flora adjusted. It took about a week for my body to really start suffering from lack of regular HFCS and various chemicals, then after a couple weeks I stabilized and my energy levels went way up and I started losing weight rapidly. We're talking 15lbs a month. A few months in (I was 23) was the only time I've been my ideal weight since I was about 12 years old.

canisdirus's picture

You need an education for those jobs. Nobody with a high school diploma is working sedentary jobs that involve sitting in front of a computer. If this lifestyle killed people, those with college educations would be the main drivers of this trend.

Mind you, there's an enormous dietary disparity between the two groups. Poorer people eat highly processed crap because it is cheap. People with higher incomes eat expensive fresh foods more. When we visit my parents, their diet is so abysmal that a meal with them at their house leaves us feeling sick. Even the salt laden crap in restaurants is easier on our digestive tracts... I suspect the divide between the two Americas is much deeper than purely economic. The entire processed food system is killing those that aren't able to avoid it or on food stamps so they can afford better food.

Teja's picture

The statistics remind me of the problems Aborigines in Australia have. Similar drug and disease issues. Women less affected than men. I interpret this as a cultural issue, the unwillingness / inability to adapt to an alien culture, sub-consciously preferring death to submission.

In Australia, the government tried to solve this for a long time via an adoption program - adopting young aborigines into white families. But who will adopt angry white men? Anyway, the adoption program did not solve the issue, it created too much grief and broken families.

Maybe better to use the "marital integration" method, which ZH seems to be following, too, with the ads offering meetings with friendly Thai and Latino ladies....  would be interested how such a program raises the life expectation and general health of a.w.m's.

shocktherapy's picture

Obviously, you need to be downvoting you congressional and senate leaders, instead of me. 

consider me gone's picture

If only we modeled our government on one of all those successful African or South American governments. 

shocktherapy's picture

You mean the ones where the US , EU or China is always interfering in their political affairs for economic gains. 

Next you'll be telling me how high your IQ is, but can't figure out how to out live some dirt farmer.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) shocktherapy Mar 26, 2017 9:41 PM

All that tells me is that out of 320 million Americans, the Jews found a few hundred white men who would sell out their country for money and prestige.

Jeffersonian Liberal's picture

What's your assumption there, Shock, that it is impossible for whites to be subverted by the same genocidal subversion that is currently...well...killing off whites in Europe and America and leading to the demographic annihilation of whites (especially white Christians) in both former fortresses of Western Civilization?

This is a deliberate attack on Western Civilization. The enemies of Western Civilization consider white Christians their enemies.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Now break down contributors to their election campaigns.

Peacefulwarrior's picture

herding the cattle is a bloody business

Dakota Kid's picture

Not if they are milk cows. I lived on a dairy farm.

cheech_wizard's picture

Milk was on sale today at Kroger's... The background muzak was interrupted long enough to say that "cows were mooing for joy" over the sale.

Standard Disclaimer: Yes, those were the exact words.

land_of_the_few's picture

The same thing happened in the Eastern Bloc countries since they gained freedom, mostly for the same reasons - despair, unemployment, degradation of healthcare and public services, gangsterism, production and scientific equipment robbed or sold cheaply by "businessmen", drugs, and alcoholism. Only the ones not 100% subject to IMF and Soros have reversed the decline significantly. It is still possible to track which countries contnue to fail by their extreme emigration, suicide and fertility rates. Those countries are in general Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and the FYRs like Croatia.

sgt_doom's picture

SCREW these charts and any studies out of Brookings (home to Rubin's Hamilton Project, which is a major part of the problem!!!) --- simply read Glass House:  The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town   by Brian Alexander.

That fantastic book pretty well explains it.

Also, Sold Out by Michelle Malkin and John Miano

And, Outsourcing America, by Ron Hira


Sonny Brakes's picture

It's some sad shit.

M*th*rf*ck*r said he didn't want to live, no more.

unsafe-space-time's picture

They are making people with a concience want to die.

TAALR Swift's picture

May I ask an awkward question? 

How would spending a lot of time on bearish sites of doom and gloom help these people with their obesity or depression?

What may be good for the sites may be bad for their physical and mental health? 

Xena fobe's picture

For self defense.  Same as the libtard reading Huffpo to learn about the latest Trump executive order. 

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Title: Why Middle Class Whites Are Dying Faster (In 6 Painful Charts)

High Blood Pressure because of PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL policies that have lead America to the brink of ruin.

Bigly's picture

This angers me.

Whites are so put upon. No privilege.  Just tax donkeys.

shocktherapy's picture

Whites are the new Blacks.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Sugar in its many forms plus snacking drive insulin levels up full time.  Years of this lead to higher and earlier incidence of your major killer diseases.   Thank food industry execs and their bought and paid for politicians and research departments for the crock science and corrupt policy that promoted this through our schools, media, and tax/subsidy/regulatory regime.   


Bigly's picture

This does not explain the white incidence. Most races eat junk at this point and sorry but blacks give a run for their money on junk, soda, pork rinds, fried crap. It is not just whites. Why the reversal when whites' lifespan was always going up?

Evil medical conspiracy cannot be ruled out!!!!  





Hijacking my own comment, OT:  where is Tall Tom?   This is the type of thread he would post on.....

TBT or not TBT's picture

Family breakdown leads to more packaged foods consumption.   The Democrat assault on the black family, particularly well represented by LBJ, started longer ago than it did with (formerly) middle class whites.    

shovelhead's picture

Stupid and lazy leads to more processed food consumption.

TBT or not TBT's picture

It's also the other way around.   

Dakota Kid's picture

I spoke up but no one listened.

From first hand experience here in California, I have seen how over the years, white males have fewer opportunities to even get their foot in the door for a job.  Minority women are put into positions to decide who gets hired and who do you think they hire? Almost nothing but minority women, often with fever qualifications and experience than white males. Go to any medical facility, post office, DMV, you name it, it's the same story over and over.

White males are in about the same situation as Jews were in NAZI Germany.

This is deliberately being done to destroy what is left of what was a truly great country.

About the only way to succeed as a white male is to start your own business.

I have already made my fortune, I pity the next generation.

TBT or not TBT's picture

HR depts are notoriously overstaffed by chip on their shoulder SIS minorities who do not even understand the business of the business.  

shocktherapy's picture

First they tried it on blacks, to see if you would tolerate it,(the violence, the drugs, the illegal confication, the housing discrimination) and you did. Now they are trying it out on you.

By the way, the black population in USA is only 13%. They arent doing the hiring.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Oh, they are rolling it out on Hispanics (See Life of Julia(TM) Democrat party) and of course any third worlders brought in under the Fed (hips) Kennedy immigration plan we are still living under.   Fuck welfare.  





Lost in translation's picture

I spoke up, too. Loudly and repeatedly.

Lost one job because of it, managed to hang on to another but only with two excellent lawyers as back-up.

CA can go to Hell.

Laddie's picture

That is absolutely correct. The problem is whites watch the TELEVITZ and, literally, are brainwashed by that and movies and schools, and God help us, CHURCHES. They are all instruments of the (((DEEP STATE)))

A young man's view of today's America:
When the White working middle class dies off

And we younger whites are obstructed in achieving career goals despite college level education - So have no means with which to support a growing family complete with white babies - add to this, drugs, miscegenation, 36 different fucking genders, transgender self mutilations, individual suicides,etc

Then we have the perfect storm in which White Genocide is accomplished on an industrial scale far beyond the fervid imaginings of jews' muh holocaust™

The big difference is our Genocide won't be memorialized by an Oscar winning film

This explains what happened to America, to the Whites:
Professor Kevin MacDonald’s ‘The Culture of Critique’ Reviewed emeritus professor of psychology at California State University - Long Beach

When you have non-Whites deciding immigration policy, I think you've reached game-over as a country.
Oriental Double-Team: Other Oriental “Judge” Orientals-Over Trump Moslem Ban

And the forest I want people to see, the big picture I want them to understand, even though it is a simplified picture, is this: Without Jews there would have been no Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent selective murder of two generations of the best and brightest of the Russians. Without Jews as an organized community pushing "multiculturalism" and "diversity" and open borders and racial mixing in the United States, White Americans would not now be facing the prospect of becoming a minority in their own country in the near future.

A Closer Look at the Enemy William Pierce PhD (Physics) former-physics professor at Oregon State University Broadcast Date: October 3, 1998

stubb's picture

As a friend of the Jews, I do have to admit that individual Jews in positions of influence have been enormously destructive. Far more so than any other group of similar numbers. Many of them seem to positively delight in throwing a monkey wrench into things.