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Wed Sep 11, 2019, 12:47 AM

Bernie Sanders commissioned a federal study in 2016 that showed that poorer Americans die younger

The rich live longer and the wealth gap among older households is growing

A new federal report puts the stakes of rising income and wealth inequality in terms of life and death: Poorer Americans are dying younger than richer Americans.

While average life expectancy has overall risen in the United States, people with lower incomes tend to have shorter lives than those with higher incomes, a study from the Government Accountability Office, commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2016, found. About 74 percent of Americans in the top fifth percentile of mid-career wealth lived into their 70s and 80s, whereas only 52 percent of adults in the bottom fifth lived that long. The study found that disparities in income and wealth among older households have become greater over the past three decades.

“If we do not urgently act to solve the economic distress of millions of Americans, a whole generation will be condemned to early death,” Sanders said in a statement.

The study is yet another data point in a vast field of research around the impacts of inequality. As Vox’s Julia Belluz has reported, there are several studies on the life expectancy gap and income, and mortality rates and education attainment, that have all reached this same well-established conclusion: Being poor is a health risk in the United States.


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Reply Bernie Sanders commissioned a federal study in 2016 that showed that poorer Americans die younger (Original post)
JonLP24 Sep 2019 OP
Donkees Sep 2019 #1

Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 05:30 AM

1. In 2013 he held a hearing on 'Dying Young: Your Social and Economic Status May Be a Death Sentence'

He began his relationship with McDowell County, West Virginia.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, held a congressional hearing in 2013 on “Dying Young: Why Your Social and Economic Status May Be a Death Sentence in America.”

McDowell County is among the poorest counties among the poorest states in the nation. More than half of McDowell County households have incomes below $25,000 compared to one-quarter of households nationally. The median household income in McDowell County is under $22,500 – less than half the nearly $52,000 median household income at the national level. One in three families in McDowell are living in poverty, including more than 40 percent of those with children under 18 and more than 60 percent of those with children under five (U.S. Census American Community Survey).

At the county level, Fairfax County, Virginia, which sits just outside of Washington, D.C., has the highest average life expectancy in the nation with an average of 82 years. Just 350 miles away in McDowell County, West Virginia, the life expectancy for men is just 64 years – an 18 year difference. Men in McDowell County have the same life expectancy as men in Namibia. For women, the county in the U.S. with the highest life expectancy is sunny and wealthy Marin County, California, where the average is 85 years. The lowest in the nation is Perry County, Kentucky, with an average life expectancy of 73 years – a 12 year gap. The life expectancy for women in McDowell County, West Virginia, where life expectancy is second lowest in the country following closely behind Perry County, is equivalent to that of Mongolia (Wang et al., 2013; World Health Organization)..


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