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National study shows education important factor in physical health
Get a better education, and have a better life, goes the oft-repeated mantra.
Now you can add “have a longer life” to the advice young people should heed.
Unfortunately, according to research by two Princeton University economists, lack of education can lead to early death.
Those with only high school diplomas are more likely than their college-educated counterparts to be unemployed, unmarried and have poor health.
Ironically, President Donald Trump won strong support from the same group, likely to be the first to suffer from a major dialing-back of Obamacare, subject of a major vote in Washington today.
This is the second paper where the economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, have linked rising death rates and changes in the job market since the 1970s.
Since 1999, they found, more white men and women ages 45 through 54 have suffered “deaths of despair” from reasons such as suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related deaths such as liver failure. Men without college degrees, they found in a paper released today, tend to take lower- and lower-skilled jobs because of the business climate.
And that hurts the economy as a whole, because Americans with only high school diplomas are less likely to get married or purchase a home, and less likely to get divorced if they to marry.
The trend doesn’t necessarily apply toward Hispanics or African-Americans, whose death rates are improving — perhaps because they’ve become more resilient because of long-standing disadvantages in the job market.
The data shows an obvious trend, however, with the death rate for high school-educated whites 50-54 30 percent lower than African-Americans in 1999, but by 2015 it was 30 percent higher.
And the trend continues to change, with the death rate for college-educated whites improving while-while worsening for non-college educated whites.
The long-term trend isn’t likely to change quickly, with government safety net programs and disability programs a factor as well.
But it does seem to be clear that higher education can make a big difference in your physical as well as financial health.