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Good News on Race Differences

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The media continue to stress glaring inequalities between blacks and whites but on the most important measure of them all, African-Americans have made spectacular progress. New numbers on life expectancy from the National Center for Health Statistics showed far more rapid improvement for blacks than for the white population.

Blacks now average 75.1 years of life, and whites 78.9 years—the lowest gap ever, at 3.8 years. This compares to a 12 year difference when government first collected data in 1930, and blacks could expect only 48 years of life!

Amazingly, Hispanics show top life expectancy for any major ethnic group—living two years longer than the white average. Many experts explain the discrepancy with reference to the strong ties of extended family in the Latino community—a powerful factor that overcomes the lower wealth and education than white Americans.

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