This news was not foreseen. The mortality (death rate) of white people in the United States is going up, not down. Middle-aged white people are dying at younger ages.
A report said, “Unlike every other age group. Unlike every other racial and ethnic group. Unlike their counterparts in other rich countries. Death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.”
It is not because of heart disease or diabetes. It is because of abuse of prescription drugs, illegal drugs and alcohol.
The death rate for middle-aged blacks and Hispanics continues to go down. The death rates for younger and older people of all races and ethnic groups also continue to decline.
The center of the problem is whites who have no more than a high school education.
Many people are guessing why this trend is occurring.
One expert sees white people breaking into two classes. One is elite college graduates. He says they no longer insist that everyone succeed the way they did. They tolerate a class of single-parent families and children. This expert says the erosion of traditional American values is at the heart of the problem.
Another expert says that when black people look around, they see things getting better. Whites see things getting worse.
Yet another expert says it is a kind of racism. White people have greater access to opioid drugs. Opioid drugs can lead to overuse and overdoses. Black people find getting health care, including opioid drugs, more difficult. He says this is a kind of racism that can benefit black people.
Finally, yet another expert says that the decline in factory jobs is the problem. He said years of decline in those jobs means that some people are feeling hopeless. That leads to all the factors mentioned above.
It is a dilemma. It is clear that there is no one answer.
Source: The New York Times February 22, 2016