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November 8, 2016

Black Gains in Life Expectancy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Stanford University, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, National Bureau of Economic Research, Stanford, California
JAMA. 2016;316(18):1869-1870. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14398

In recent decades the US black population has experienced substantial gains in life expectancy, now approaching the life expectancy of the white population. Between 1995 and 2014, the increase in black life expectancy at birth was more than double the white increase: a gain of 6.0 years from 69.6 years to 75.6 years for black people compared with a gain of 2.5 years from 76.5 years to 79.0 for white people.1 The difference in the percent per annum rate of increase was also more than double: 0.44 for black people, 0.17 for white people.