A recent study conducted by two economists at Princeton University has claimed that there is a significant disparity in life expectancy between people with college degrees and those without it, The Economist said in a report. The study is based on an analysis of demographic data in the US. It said that despite robust economic performance in the United States in the past two decades, particularly its economic growth, measures of wellness, notably life expectancy, have appeared less impressive.
The study by Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton said that in 2021, 25-year-old Americans without a four-year college degree were expected to live approximately 10 years less on average than their college-educated counterparts.
This research builds upon a trend that has become increasingly apparent as Covid-19 has impacted life expectancy, which is derived from mortality data at various ages. Despite the nation’s growing wealth, the United States has been falling behind other industrialised countries in terms of life expectancy. A generation ago, the US ranked in the middle among these nations, but it now lags behind most other wealthy countries, said The Economist. Even before the pandemic, Americans’ likelihood of premature death was increasing, resulting in a gradual decline in life expectancy. Higher mortality rates were attributed to factors such as drug overdoses, shootings, and car accidents.
The study’s authors note that “Americans with a college degree, if they were a separate country, would be one of the best performers, just below Japan.”
This is largely attributed to the fact that graduates tend to have higher incomes and are better equipped to protect themselves from various dangers compared to non-graduates. However, the outlet noted that Americans with degrees still face a higher likelihood of falling victim to violence or drug overdoses compared to their counterparts in other countries, if not necessarily succumbing to cancer. This underscores the role of inequality as a key factor contributing to the overall decline in American mortality, The Economist said.