Wealthy Americans are at a better advantage than poor Americans in the areas of health and education. Two of the most disturbing trends in the United States, educated wealthy Americans having longer life expectancy and children from higher income families are getting the best education.
Economists suggest cutting edge medical treatment could increase life expectancy disproportionately for high-income families. Linkages could run in either direction: Disproportionate gains in income among affluent families may facilitate college completion by their children and also provide resources that lengthen their life expectancy.
Important facts: The gain in life expectancy at age 25 for non-Hispanic white female college graduates compared with that for less-educated women has been much more rapid than that for non-Hispanic white males.
From 1990 to 2008, the gap between the female college graduates and high-school dropouts widened by a factor of five, while the gap for males increased by a factor of about 2.6. (The life-expectancy gradient remains steeper for men, but the female gradient has been steepening more quickly and is rapidly catching up to the male one.)