Social Class, Health and Longevity

  • Pamela Herd
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 1)

Over the last century, life expectancy in the United States has steadily increased. Though much of this was due to falling infant mortality rates, older Americans have also experienced large increases in life expectancy. In 1950, those who survived to age 65 could expect to live to age 79; today, those who survive to age 65 can expect to live to age 84 (National Center for Health Statistics 2004). Moreover, though there was significant concern that rising life expectancy, particularly among the elderly, would simply mean that people were living many more years in worse health, current evidence belies this (Freedman et al. 2004; Fries 1980). In fact, age-specific disability rates have been falling among the elderly for the past 15 years (Freedman et al. 2004).


Socioeconomic Status Educational Attainment Late Life Social Security Benefit Socioeconomic Disparity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Herd
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadison, WIUSA

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