Government statisticians are seeing a growing gap in life expectancy levels between 65-year-old haves and 65-year-old have nots.
Researchers at the Congressional Budget Office discuss that gap in a discussion of the effects the gap might have on Social Security and Medicare.
Traditional, white U.S. women have lived about 5 years longer than white U.S. men, and white U.S. residents have lived about 5 years longer than African American U.S. residents.
The longevity gaps between men and women and between white U.S. residents and African Americans have narrowed in recent years, but the gap between life expectancy levels for better-educated and less-educated U.S. residents, and between higher-income and lower-income U.S. residents, has widened, the researchers report.
In 2000, for example, the difference in life expectancy at age 65 between members of the highest and lowest socioeconomic U.S. groups had increased to 1.6 years, up from 0.3 years in 1980, the CBO researchers write.