Rich People Live Longer

In: Science Source: Washington Post

11 Mar 2013

I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising – and it’s interesting in terms of proposed changes to social security. (related article)


Interesting chart in that it combines life expectancy with "percentage of healthy years”. I’ve heard that a lot of medical research now isn’t necessarily to make you live longer, but for you to be healthy as long as possible, then fall apart all at once and die quickly.


3 Responses to Rich People Live Longer



March 11th, 2013 at 11:44 am

Can it be claimed that those who make efforts to live a healthy lifestyle and therefore live longer are more likely to get “rich”?


Beth (@DataGeekB)

March 11th, 2013 at 5:12 pm

It may be that lower income is the source of the growing divide in life expectancy, or Vityok (above) may be right — health might be the cause of higher income.
There may be some third, unknown, factor influencing both. Maybe people with higher levels of education make more money AND receive preventative medical treatment. Or people with lower levels of education make less money AND are more likely to be smokers…

Regardless of the causal mechanism, thanks for posting the charts and the link! It’s interesting food for thought.



March 17th, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Causal mechanisms are best found by using our best reason along with the statistics:

Smoking is highly correlated with cancer, but maybe cancer prone people enjoy smoking.

People with “night-lights” tend to be near-sighted, either having a night-light make you near sighted or near-sighted people have a harder time seeing in the dark and thus get night-lights. ( it should be noted myopia predated electric light)

These problems, along with the does being rich make you healthy or healthy make you rich question, have vexed the scientific community!

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