Racial Differentials in Longevity and Heath Status: U.S. Population, 1980-1990

Guend, Hani, and Alberto Palloni
Working paper no. 2003-07


We examine differentials in adult Partial Life Expectancies by type of disability between two censuses within each racial group; and among white, black, Asian, and Native Americans in 1990. During the 1980s, women of minority groups benefited from an improvement in Disability Free Life Expectancy, while white women lived more years with disability. Black women experienced the most positive changes, while Native American men scored the worst. Elderly fared better than younger adults and elderly women improved regardless of race. Compared to whites in 1990, Native American males and females and black males are the most disadvantaged with higher disability free differentials. Disability data and the counts of persons are extracted from the US Censuses 1980 and 1990 (PUMS 1%). The counts of deaths come from vital statistics (100% counts). The procedure of analysis developed and applied here allows a simultaneous assessment of the differentials in longevity and disability.