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Eight Americas and single folks

There’s a big longevity gap in the the U.S, according to PloS Medicine. And it’s not tied strictly to income or geographical region, though there is a tie to race regardless of region for those with the lowest life expectancy. The one thing that this study points out is that the numbers counter general assumptions. (USA Today):

The following is a snapshot of the “eight Americas” and how life expectancy divides us:

1. 10.4 million Asians with a per capita income of $21,566 and an average life expectancy of 85.

2. 3.6 million whites in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, Montana and Nebraska, with a income of $17,758 and an average life expectancy of 79 .

3. 214 million middle Americans, with a per capita income of $24,640 and an average life expectancy of 78.

4. 16.6 million whites in Appalachia and the Mississippi Valley with an income of $16,390 and a life expectancy of 75.

5. 1 million Western Native Americans with a per capita income of $10,029 and life expectancy of 73.

6. 23.4 million black middle Americans with a per capita income of $15,412 and a life expectancy of 73.

7. 5.8 million southern low-income blacks with a per capita income of $10,463 and a life expectancy of 71.

8. 7.5 million high-risk urban blacks, living in counties with a homicide risk that tops the 95th percentile of U.S. counties, with a per capita income of $14,800 and a life expectancy of 71.

R. Neal at Facing South came across the same study and he notes which states are at the bottom of the pack:

This article also summarizes the results by state. Sadly, the bottom twelve come as no surprise:

23. North Carolina: 75.8 years
24. Georgia: 75.3 years
25. Arkansas: 75.2 years
25. Kentucky: 75.2 years
25. Oklahoma: 75.2 years
26. Tennessee: 75.1 years
26. West Virginia: 75.1 years
27. South Carolina: 74.8 years
28. Alabama: 74.4 years
29. Louisiana: 74.2 years
30. Mississippi: 73.6 years
31. Washington, D.C.: 72 years

Here is a map graphically representing the data.

***

In other data crunching news, some interesting facts and figures on single people released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

* 89.8 million: Number of unmarried and single Americans in 2005. This group comprised 41 percent of all U.S. residents age 18 and older.
* 54 percent: Percentage of unmarried and single Americans who are women.
* 60 percent: Percentage of unmarried and single Americans who have never been married. Another 25 percent are divorced and 15 percent are widowed.
* 14.9 million: Number of unmarried and single Americans age 65 and older. These older Americans comprise 14 percent of all unmarried and single people.
* 86: Number of unmarried men age 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States.
* 55 million: Number of households maintained by unmarried men or women. These households comprise 49 percent of households nationwide.
* 29.9 million: Number of people who live alone. These persons comprise 26 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.

The press release also includes information on unmarried couples and parents, but only counts those in opposite-sex relationships.

Education stats…

* 82 percent: Percentage of unmarried people age 25 or older in 2004 who were high school graduates.
* 23 percent: Percentage of unmarried people age 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or more education.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding