Life Expectancy Inequality

June 30, 2011

This is from a Bloomberg column by Peter Orszag:

This is from a Bloomberg column by Peter Orszag:

Among 50-year-old men, for example, those in the highest education group are now projected to live almost six years longer on average than those in the lowest education group — and this differential has been rising sharply. The widening gap in life expectancy is also evident geographically. In 2007, men living in the American counties with the greatest average longevity could expect to live more than 15 years longer than men in the lowest- ranked ones. In 1987, that gap was less than 12 years. Sadly, life expectancy in some counties actually declined over that period.

Questions for the reader:

  1. Do you care about this widening gap?  Should government do something to try and narrow it?
  2. Do you care about the men/women life expectancy gap (currently: 5 years) Should government do something about that?

Exercise for the reader: Show why the gap strengthens the case for privatizing Social Security and Medicare.

See our previous post. HT to David Henderson.