Life expectancy gap between Black and White Americans closes by nearly 50 percent In 30 Years

By Martin M Barillas

Improved health among Black Americans has narrowed the life expectancy gap between White and Black Americans by 50 percent over the last 30 years. Even so, a reversal in both groups’ mortality rates since 2012 remains unresolved.

Researchers at Princeton University analyzed data from 1990 to 2018, comparing mortality rates between Black and White populations based on location. In their paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they also compared the United States to Europe.

“It is important to recognize the very real gains that have occurred over the past 30 years and to understand the reasons for them,” said Janet Currie of Princeton’s Center for Health and Wellbeing. “Improved access to healthcare and safety-net programs all contributed to improvements in life expectancy among Black Americans. Yet there is [a] perplexing reversal of the positive trends for all groups since


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