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Life Expectancy Indicates a Country’s Overall Well Being—So Why Is Ours Dropping?

  • The last time U.S. life expectancy declined at birth
    • 1992-1993: 75.8 to 75.5 years
    • Resulting from high death rates from AIDS, flu epidemic, homicide, and accidental deaths
  • After years of life expectancy gains, there is decline all across the board
    • 2014-2015: 78.9 to 78.8 years
      • Death rates rose for 8 out of 10 leading causes of death
      • Heart disease causes more than 4X as many deaths as the rest of the leading causes
      • Prescription opioid painkillers and heroin abuse are probably fueling increases in unintentional injuries
        • In 2014, the CDC reported 28,000 died due to opioid overdoses

In 2015, Obesity Related Problems Caused 10% of US Deaths

  • Obesity increases the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
    • 6 million or ⅓ of Americans are obese
    • Being 40 lbs overweight cuts about 3 years off life expectancy
    • Being 100 lbs overweight reduces lifespan by about 10 years
  • The US has higher obesity rates than countries with longer lifespans
    • Japan 3.3%
    • Switzerland4%
    • Germany 20.1%
    • Spain 23.7%
    • United Kingdom 28.1%
    • Australia 28.6%
    • USA 33.7%

America is Seriously Lagging Behind in Global Life Expectancy

  • 28th globally in average life expectancy—dead last among industrialized countries
    • 1st: Japan, 83.7 years
    • 2nd: Switzerland, 83.3 years
    • 3rd: Spain, 83.3 years
    • 7th: Australia, 82.4 years
    • 19th: United Kingdom, 81.4 years
    • 22nd: Germany, 81.2 years
    • 28th: USA, 78.8 years

Richer Americans Live Longer Than the Poor and Middle Class

  • Men
    • 1980
      • Poorest—76.2
      • Lower middle—76.3
      • Middle—76.5
      • Upper Middle—79.9
      • Richest—82.6
    • 2010
      • Poorest—76.1
      • Lower middle—78.3
      • Middle—83.4
      • Upper middle—87.8
      • Richest—88.8
  • Women
    • 1980
      • Poorest—82.5
      • Lower middle—81.5
      • Middle—82.5
      • Upper middle—83.2
      • Richest—86.1
    • 2010
      • Poorest—78.3
      • Lower middle—79.7
      • Middle—82.9
      • Upper middle—83.1
      • Richest—91.9
  • While US wage inequality is only getting worse
    • 1979
      • Poorest 20%
        • Received 6.2% of national income
      • Richest 20%
        • Received 44.9% of national income
      • 2010
        • Poorest 20%
          • Received 5.1% of national income
        • Richest 20%
          • Received 51.9% of national

 

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