Life expectancy

U.S. Life Expectancy Falls for First Time Since 1993

Male life expectancy dropped 0.2 of a year; female life expectancy was 0.1 of a year lower.


Simona Jasineviciene/Dreamstime

The National Center for Health Statistics released a startling and depressing report on life expectancy trends in the United States: Between 2014 and 2015 average American life expectancy at birth dropped to 78.8 years for the total U.S. population—a decrease of 0.1 year from 78.9 years in 2014. For males, life expectancy changed from 76.5 years in 2014 to 76.3 years in 2015—a decrease of 0.2 years, and for females, life expectancy decreased 0.1 year from 81.3 years in 2014 to 81.2 years in 2015. Since average life expectancy for Americans over age 65 remained steady at 19.4 years, the decrease is attributable to higher death rates in younger and middle-aged residents. The mortality rates in eight of the top ten leading causes of death increased, including more deaths from heart disease, accidents (including drug overdoses), strokes, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and suicide.

Life expectancy last declined in the U.S. in 1993, just before the advent of good treatments for HIV/AIDS. What accounts of this dismal news? Last year, Princeton University researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton reported that mortality rates had increased for poor middle-aged white Americans, especially among those living in rural areas. Given that more Americans than ever are now covered by health insurance, what can account for this decrease in average life expectancy? The NCHS report does not speculate, but I will.

Lots of research suggests that higher mortality correlates with persistent joblessness. The civilian labor force participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent in 2000 and has now fallen to 62.7 percent today. In June the White House issued a report that noted the alarming fall in the prime-age male labor force participation rate, from a peak of 98 percent in 1954 to 88 percent today. Specifically, the report observed that "in 1964, 98 percent of prime-age men with a college degree or more participated in the workforce, compared to 97 percent of men with a high school degree or less. In 2015, the rate for college-educated men had fallen slightly to 94 percent while the rate for men with a high school degree or less had plummeted to 83 percent." Over at the Washington Post, David Weir, director of the health and retirement study at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan notes that during the past five years, improvements in death rates were among the smallest of the past four decades.

So what is responsible for decreasing average life expectancy? Demoralization among our poorest citizens.

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  1. Fuck! [dies]

    1. NOOOO!!!!

      *bell clangs deeply*

    2. He died as he lived: cursing and sharing his every life detail through stage direction.

      1. I got better.

        1. LOL (“Aum not ded! Yez u r!”)

      2. [Exits, followed by bear]

  2. Silver lining: increase in voter participation.

  3. OT: Another Christmas, and another attempt by a libertarian to celebrate the lying, thieving crony capitalist Henry Potter.

    1. Excellent.

      1. Wait, you’re alive? ZOMBIE!!!

        1. My second-grade teacher was right. Dyin’s just one more thing i’m no good at.


      Even though the Bailey Building & Loan wasn’t actually practicing fractional reserve banking.

      1. You sure about that? Because fractional reserve has the way we do banking in this country for a long time.

        1. A building and loan was a cooperative, not a bank. No demand deposits, so no fractional reserves.

      2. You sure about that? Because fractional reserve has the way we do banking in this country for a long time.

        1. You should listen when I’m saying stuff the first time.

    3. Wait, what does growing up to become an auror have to do with crony capitalism?

      1. Ask your banker about his last visit from the Aurorter.

  4. Obamacare for the win!

    1. Well, as long as everyone dies at the same age, does it matter if it’s 30 or 90? Just take an aspirin.

  5. See, Obamacare is killing people. Way to go Obama!

    1. Nah. I think it was all those snowflakes melting after Trump won.

  6. mortality rates had increased for poor middle-aged white Americans, especially among those living in rural areas

    Someone should remind them of their white privilege.

    1. John has a sad.

  7. This is probably because we’ve about reached our natural lifespan limit. Without life extension treatments, we’re not going to live much longer than 80-90 years on avg. Also, I blame Obamacare and other government regulations for the slight decrease.

    1. This is probably because we’ve about reached our natural lifespan limit.

      I think it would be impossible to untangle it from the inherent socialism/cronyism.

      For years, they’ve talked about how Gary, IN doesn’t have a trauma center despite being an exceedingly violent/dangerous city and how it’s literally causing deaths. The bog standard is to point to Chicago (esp. the North Side/Gold Coast) and demand a similar level of access. Nevermind that generations of monied old white people pay through the nose to attract doctors and to have access to those hospitals and the hospitals themselves make money hand-over-fist in ‘tax breaks for public service’ arrangements. Arrangements that couldn’t possibly happen in less urban or just as urban but more industrial centers.

      1. Gary is a nasty place. It’s almost as bad as Baltimore. You should try visiting an emergency room in Baltimore on a weekend evening. Last time I had the pleasure, the cops had brought in 4 gunshot victims.

    2. I blame lighter cars, indirectly mandated by gov’t. Dammit, we need darker ones!

  8. U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!!

    Is this due to the repeal of Glass-Steagall?

    1. “You’re gonna live so long, you’ll be tired of living.”

  9. Don’t worry peeps, you’ll never die as long as you live!

  10. Drug overdoses? See, not spending enough on the WOD!

    1. And drug overdoses. Another thing that isn’t my problem or concern.

  11. I assume it’s caused by unhealthy life choices and maybe stress. Which is not my problem or my business except as it pertains to me and people I care about. So I really don’t care at all.

    1. How could you not care about what people whom you’ll never meet do with their lives?

    2. If Big Macs and opioids are wrong, do we really want to be right?

  12. “My plan is to live forever. So far, so good.”

    – Steven Wright

  13. Thanks, Obamacare!

    1. Well, if that’s true and the left ever gain full control, I guess everyone will be dead.

      1. Death is the ultimate equalizer in many ways.

    2. According to the Economist, health rates correlated slightly more closely to the areas Trump carried than joblessness.…..y-chart-13

  14. This was caused by all the gays making a ruckus about bathrooms and the blacks killing all those cops.

  15. Who wants to live forever

    1. Everyone.

      1. That was a fun movie

  16. “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

  17. But wait! AmSoc was just progsplaining in another thread that we’re at near full employment! Get your hatefacts out of here, Ron.

    1. Don’t you know you’re not allowed to include the 10s of millions who gave up looking for a job? You’ve had 8 years to get down this Obama math, sheesh!

      1. Well you can include those people, but you would need to give up the government method of reporting on unemployment which is basically a giant lie that everyone knows is a lie, yet they continually parrot the lie as if it has some bearing on anything other than the government lying.

  18. Given that more Americans than ever are now covered by health insurance, what can account of this decrease in average life expectancy?

    Health insurance != health care.

    1. A point I had to make yesterday to my loving wife.

    2. No, health insurance now == paying for other people’s healthcare, not necessarily being able to afford it for yourself. Seriously, a lot of middle class Americans, because of the extremely high deductibles under Obamacare have stopped going to the doctor because they can’t afford it. This is something that could actually be causing he drop in avg life expectancy of Americans.

      1. Bush Obama lied, people died.

        1. Remember when he said that maybe grandma should just take a pill?

          1. And when he tried to cut Social Security benefits to the elderly?

            Pepperidge Farm remembers.

          2. We all can – until they get rid of “fake” news:


            It’s actually worse when you hear the whole thing.

  19. Yes, it’s so tempting to blame Obamacare for this, but I don’t think it’s been around long enough to actually have that kind of impact.

    1. I think the blaming of Obamacare is token and/or sarcastic. Less an earnest rant against the ACA as the. definitive. cause. and more a statement of objection to the ideas, theories, principles it embodies and stands for.

    2. It probably isn’t all Obamacare, but I don’t think it’s too early to absolve it of all responsibility. The PPACA was passed in 2010, and even though not all the provisions have been implemented yet, some have. It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that it’s had some impact. I mean, we’re talking about a tenths of a percent decrease here.

      1. Indeed, the changes in premium structures and (as noted) the rise in deductibles have been occurring/accelerating since 2010, so the question of whether people are using health care (irrespective of having health coverage on paper) remains an apt one.

      2. Just as an aside: you can bet your last nickel that if there had been some free market overhaul of the healthcare system in 2010, “progressives” would be placing 100 percent of the blame on whoever enacted that overhaul.

  20. Did I misread something or did a couple of hundred posts just disappear?

    1. Did you actually see the posts or is this a ‘they cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced’ sort of thing?

      1. I was clearly confused: saw them on another thread. I have not started drinking yet which is most likely the problem.

  21. White people problems! Amarite? Eh? Ehhhh?

  22. Ron, is the guy in the picture the one who is freezing your head?

  23. It’s because a bunch of people killed themselves when Trump won, right?

    1. It’s because a bunch of policies changed when econazi spoiler votes cost the Democrats their hands in the till in the y2k election. Power is the rate at which energy is converted to work–in engineering. Political power is the rate at which the political state can turn disobedient humans into cadavers. They are different, but inversely related. No slave society can permit access to energy. Make a list and you’ll find slaves live nasty, brutish and short lives with very little access to energy. Make a list of high per-capita energy consumption and the opposite is true. Moral: econaziism increases the death rate exactly like German National Socialism increases the death rate, and for reasons that are identical and generalizable. Why? Because both rely insistently on the initiation of harmful, coercive and deadly force to impose their altruistic policies.
      Silver lining: econazi spoiler votes are nearly extinct, while libertarian spoiler votes are a thriving source of policy changes up 326%

  24. Clearly, this plummeting life expectancy is the result of our completely unregulated healthcare system. I mean, we spend next to nothing on medical care for the poor and elderly. Plus, healthcare providers and medical insurance companies operate with virtually no oversight from the government. This anarcho-capitalist experiment in healthcare has not worked – it’s time for society to work together and provide high-quality care for every citizen as they do in countries like Cuba (under the wise and judicious leadership of the dearly departed Fidel Castro, may he rest in peace).

    1. Peace be upon his name.

  25. It’s 80.9, 81.7 and 82.6 in Germany, Norway and France; respectively. This, of course, has nothing to do with their health care systems which guarantee universal coverage or the lack of stress owing to their cradle-to-grave Welfare programs.

    1. I listen to those stations too.

    2. “Germans have a lack of stress.”

      -Said no intelligent or even moderately worldly person ever.

    3. Ask American National Socialist what published percentage voted for Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party.

  26. I don’t know that I can explain this, but it’s only a matter of time before someone finds a way to blame Putin.

  27. Oh my God!! The blog was really shocking one. The American life expectancy at birth dropped to 78.8 years for the total. I am a professional writer at the thesis writing service. I have read an article about this in the site.

  28. Americans “work for a living,” and (surprise!) per capita access to energy correlates with life expectancy at birth. If you compare data for econazi paradises where there is no evil electricity, versus godless nuclear Canada and These Plutocratic States, you will find the correlation is about as tight as that between old age and death. The reason for this is that the work-energy theorem is a general law that applies to everything and everyone everywhere. This is also a deductive generalization from testable first principles. “All men are mortal” is another such principle arrived at by induction. It is known to be a fact by all except life-after-death believers in mystical faith, miraculous entropy reversal, miscegnation between gods and mortals and the raising of long dead lepers to the rosy pink of health.
    What you are seeing is the power of the Econazi spoiler votes that changed the outcome of the Y2k election. Resulting platform and policy changes in “both” parties throttled access to energy and increased the death rate. Ordinary causality and high school physics and math.

  29. til I looked at the receipt four $6371, I didnt believe that…my… mom in-law could trully receiving money in there spare time at their computer.. there friends cousin has done this for under 15 months and as of now paid the morgage on their mini mansion and got a new Infiniti. navigate to this site


  30. my friend’s ex-wife makes $79/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her payment was $13079 just working on the internet for a few hours. check


  31. Reason contributors wouldn’t have said “demoralization” if it wasn’t for that election thingy that happened. Gary Johnson where are you?

  32. Brianna. true that Kathryn`s st0rry is impressive… I just received themselves a Jaguar E-type from bringing in $5324 recently and-over, ten-k this past-munth. it’s definitly the coolest work Ive ever done. I started this 3 months ago and straight away started to bring home minimum $81.. per/hr. straight from the source


  33. Liam. I agree that Carl`s bl0g is cool… I just got a great new Honda since getting a cheque for $9458 thiss month and just a little over 10/k this past-munth. without a doubt its the most financially rewarding I’ve ever had. I started this six months/ago and almost immediately started earning at least $75, per hour. go now


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  35. That’s a very shocking news for the USA as it has been nearly a decade since the life expectancy falls. They should do something about it.

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  37. I think people should have a private dentist in their family which will definitely gonna help them in keeping their smile white and safe.

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