In America, Not Having a College Degree Can Take Years Off Your Life

Oct. 11, 2023

New research by CHW affiliates Anne Case and Angus Deaton reveals a huge, widening gap between the life expectancy of Americans with degrees and those without. 

“What the economic statistics obscure in the averages is that there is not one but two Americas — and a clear line demarcating the division is educational attainment,” they write in a guest essay for The New York Times. “Americans with four-year college degrees are flourishing economically, while those without are struggling. Worse still, as we discovered in new research, the America of those without college degrees has been scarred by death and a staggeringly shorter life span.”