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Educational Degrees and Adult Mortality Risk in the United States

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Rogers, R.G., B.G. Everett, Anna Zajacova, and R.A. Hummer. 2010. "Educational Degrees and Adult Mortality Risk in the United States." Biodemography and Social Biology, 56(1): 80-99.

We present the first published estimates of U. S. adult mortality risk by detailed educational degree, including advanced postsecondary degrees. We use the 1997-2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Linked Mortality Files and Cox proportional hazards models to reveal wide graded differences in mortality by educational degree. Compared to adults who have a professional degree, those with an MA are 5 percent, those with a BA are 26 percent, those with an AA are 44 percent, those with some college are 65 percent, high school graduates are 80 percent, and those with a GED or 12 or fewer years of schooling are at least 95 percent more likely to die during the follow-up period, net of sociodemographic controls. These differentials vary by gender and cohort. Advanced educational degrees are associated not only with increased work-force skill level but with a reduced risk of death.

DOI:10.1080/19485561003727372 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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