Black Americans Living Longer

Black Americans have been dying at a younger age on average than white Americans. Some of the disparity has been due to living conditions and some of it has been due to health-related issues. Black Americans tend to have a greater risk if diabetes, strokes and heart disease. However, as medical care improves and becomes more available to many black Americans, on average, they are living longer and narrowing the gap in longevity with white Americans.

For many years, it was known by censuses and doctors that black Americans have shorter average lifespans than whites. It has nothing to do with racial discrimination or bigotry, but does have everything to do with genetics and lifestyles.

In 1970, the average lifespan for a black American was around 64-years. The average lifespan for a white American was about 71.5-years, a difference of about 7.5 years. By 1980, the average lifespans of black and white Americans were about 69-years and 75-years, respectfully. The gap had narrowed to about 6 years. By 2010, the gap had narrowed to about 5-years, being close to 75-years for black Americans and 79 years for white Americans.

A 2015 post explained part of the reasons why the differences:

“Issues in health and health care that lead to a shorter life span for black Americans start before birth. The average black baby enters the world under different circumstances than the average white baby, and the gap only grows between birth and death.”…

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With more medical advancements every day, the life expectancy of black Americans should continue to improve. No one is sure if their life expectancy will ever match that of white Americans, but be assured that the gap between the two ethnic groups is narrowing more and more every year.




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