State-level variations in racial disparities in life expectancy

Health Serv Res. 2012 Feb;47(1 Pt 2):544-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01345.x. Epub 2011 Nov 8.


Objective: To explore state patterns in the racial life expectancy gap.

Data sources: The 1997-2004 Multiple Cause of Death PUF, 2000 U.S. Census.

Study design: We calculated life expectancy at birth for black and white men and women.

Data extraction methods: Data were obtained by the NCHS and U.S. Census Bureau.

Principal findings: States with small racial differences are due to higher-than-expected life expectancy for blacks or lower-than-expected for whites. States with large disparity are explained by higher-than-average life expectancy among whites or lower-than-average life expectancy among blacks.

Conclusions: Heterogeneous state patterns in racial disparity in life expectancy exist. Eliminating disparity in states with large black populations would make the greatest impact nationally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Child
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult