Cohort Fluctuations of Mortality in Relation to Poverty, Education, Marriage, and Cohort Size in the United States, 1989–2015

Louis Chauvel , University of Luxembourg
Anja K. Leist, University of Luxembourg
Herbert L. Smith, University of Pennsylvania

What are the aggregate social factors that track recent cohort-specific mortality trends? Using CDC multiple cause-of-death microdata and CPS data on populations cross-classified by age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, we create mortality rates for five-year age groups at five-year/yearly intervals. We examine mortality rates of U.S. birth cohorts between 1989-2015, net of aging and trends in historical time, via APC-D(eviations) modeling. These cohort deviations are correlated with cohort characteristics, e.g., relative poverty rates and cohort size. Cohort-specific poverty and mortality rates are particularly strongly associated, persisting net of cohort compositional factors. Education-stratified mortality patterns over time show sharp increases in mortality rates, significantly above linear time-trends, in low-educated white women of cohorts born >1960. No such patterns are found for the African-American men nor women. Findings suggest that recently occurring privations in the white U.S. population are small relative to the historically persistent mortality-associated privations of the African-American sub-population.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2