Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton say that mortality rates are rising in the United States among the middle aged. Working class whites are the hardest hit. The professors say that the deterioration of financial stability and social well-being is driving what they call “deaths of despair.” These are suicides, and deaths related to drugs and alcohol.
According to Case and Deaton, non-Hispanic whites without a college degree had an all-cause mortality rate roughly 30% lower than blacks in 1999. By 2015, their mortality rate was 30% higher. A complete reversal in less than twenty years. The data they looked at primarily focused on the 45-54 age group. However, they say they find a similar rise in mortality rates among non-Hispanic whites without a college degree aged 25-44 and 55-64 as well.
Mortality rates among non-Hispanic whites without a college degree are also rising compared to mortality rates in Canada and several European nations.