Why do white Americans tend to live longer than African Americans?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to a study conducted in 2003, the following life expectancies were noted:

  • White males - 75.4 years
  • Black males - 69.2 years
  • White females - 80.5 years
  • Black females - 76.1 years

In 2007, another study was conducted and found that the gap between whites and African Americans was beginning to shrink.

While a gap continues to exist, researchers have concluded that there are multiple reasons which define the closing of the gap.

The study states that decline in homicides, AIDS, and murder had to do with the rise in the life expectancy. Another factor taken into consideration was the fact that African Americans were having less problems with heart disease and diabetes. This decline in the homicide rates, AIDS contractions, and better heart health have all resulted in the rise of their life span.

Given that not as many white Americans die from murders, as compared to African Americans, the health care programs which are (unfortunately) more susceptible to white Americans insures that they receive better health care. This means that they have the medical capability to live longer given their ability to seek more and better health care (on the whole).