Why are Mortality Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Non-Hispanic Americans? Could it Happen in Europe?

Case, A., and Deaton, A.

March 2018

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Low levels of mortality are important indicators of societal success. This lecture is about trends in mortality in the white non-Hispanic population in the United States of America (US), a subject which is not only interesting in itself, but also of global significance because we are all wondering whether this could happen to our own societies or to specific groups within them. The lecture was delivered by Professor Case, Sir Angus added some further reflections and then both professors engaged in a question and answer session at the end. The work discussed here, which is part of a much larger research agenda, leads to comparisons between the US and what might be happening in Europe.The authors’ most recent work on the topic of mortality rates is summarised in three papers (Case and Deaton 2015, 2017a, 2017b; there are links to these papers at https://scholar.princeton.edu/accase/publications).
This version of the text is based on a transcript of the lecture and, as such, is often less formal and more colloquial than might be expected in an academic paper.