Education Mortality Differentials in Metropolitan versus Non-Metropolitan Areas

Jennifer Brite, City University of New York (CUNY)

Background: Several studies have shown lower education leads to shorter life expectancy. Both educational attainment and mortality rates are different in metropolitan versus nonmetropolitan areas. It is unknown if education mortality differentials vary in metropolitan versus nonmetropolitan settings. Methods: Life tables and mortality rates were calculated using Multiple Cause of Death data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Population estimates were estimated via the 2000 Census. Education was not stratified for those under the age of 25. Results: In metropolitan areas, those who achieve exactly 12 years of education have a life expectancy advantage of only 2 years for females and 0 years for males. In nonmetropolitan areas, the difference is greater (4 years for females and 2 years for males). Conclusions: Completion of 12 years of schooling, generally equivalent to achieving a high school diploma, may not provide mortality advantages in metropolitan areas.

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Presented in Session 74: Education, Health, and Mortality: Pathways and Mechanisms.