More than ever, Americans with less education are dying earlier than their more-educated peers, according to a policy brief from the Center on Society and Health.
According to the brief, Americans without a high school diploma can expect to die nine years before their college-educated peers.
Between 1990 and 2008, the life-expectancy gap, which has been widening since the 1960s, grew from 13 to 14 years between the most- and least-educated males. For females, that gap grew from eight to 10 years. Americans with less education are more likely to have major diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, and are more likely to have risk factors predictive of disease, such as smoking and obesity. Lower rates of education also correspond with higher rates of disease and disability and greater strains on mental health.
A version of this article appeared in the January 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Schooling and Health