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Life Expectancy Study: It’s Not Just What You Make, It’s Where You Live

An anonymous reader shares a report on NPR.org: Poor people who reside in expensive, well-educated cities such as San Francisco tend to live longer than low-income people in less affluent places, according to a study of more than a billion Social Security and tax records. The study, published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, bolsters what was already well-known — the poor tend to have shorter lifespans than those with more money. But it also says that among low-income people, big disparities exist in life expectancy from place to place, said Raj Chetty, professor of economics at Stanford University. “There are some places where the poor are doing quite well, gaining just as much in terms of life span as the rich, but there are other places where they’re actually going in the other direction, where the poor are living shorter lives today than they did in the past,” Chetty said, in an interview with NPR.The New York Times’ take on the same study: New York is a city with some of the worst income inequality in the country. But when it comes to inequality of life spans, it’s one of the best. Impoverished New Yorkers tend to live far longer than their counterparts in other American cities, according to a detailed new research of Social Security and earnings records published Monday in The Journal of the American Medical Association. They still die sooner than their richer neighbors, but the city’s life-expectancy gap was smaller in 2014 than nearly everywhere else, and it has shrunk since 2001 even as gaps grew nationwide. That trend may appear surprising. New York is one of the country’s most unequal and expensive cities, where the poor struggle to find affordable housing and the money and time to take care of themselves.


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