What’s the secret to living longer? Live rich.
The richest Americans live at least 10 years longer on average than the poorest, a major study found.
The research emphasizes that where you live and what you earn help determine life expectancy, along with changeable behaviors including smoking and lack of exercise.
Stanford University economist Raj Chetty and colleagues analyzed more than 1 billion tax records between 1999 and 2014, along with government records on nearly 7 million deaths. They used the data to estimate life expectancy at age 40 by income and geographic area.
Their analysis was published online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It comes during an election season marked by heated debate about income equality and the endangered middle class.
The report examines the well-known connection between income and longevity, but with more precision and detail than previous research, Princeton University economist Angus Deaton said in a journal editorial.
“The infamous ‘one percent’ is not only richer, but much healthier,” Deaton said.
Men with the top 1% in income lived 15 years longer than men with the lowest 1% in income. For women that gap was 10 years.
Between 2001 and 2014, life expectancy didn’t change for people in the lowest 5% of income, but it increased by about 3 years for men and women in the top 5%. Those changes, and life expectancy in general, varied substantially by region.
The poorest Americans lived the longest in areas where smoking, obesity, and inactivity were scarce. Access to medical care had less influence than previous studies have suggested.
The study did not include people with no income 🙂 So start making that cash now!