Socioeconomic Differences in Education Reporting and Their Effect on Estimates of Life Expectancy by Educational Attainment in the U.S.

Brian Rostron, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

This paper analyzes education reporting on the death certificate and its effect on estimates of life expectancy by education level in the U.S. The National Longitudinal Mortality Study was used to compare educational attainment as reported on the death certificate for individuals to their educational attainment as reported in the Current Population Survey. Blacks and Hispanics were found to be more likely than members of other groups to have their educational attainment underreported on the death certificate. The NLMS was also used with vital statistics data to produce estimates of life expectancy by educational attainment in the U.S. that were adjusted for education misreporting on the death certificate. These estimates show large disparities in life expectancy by education level in the U.S., on the order of 10-12 years for females and 11-16 years for males.

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Presented in Session 128: Socioeconomic Differentials in Mortality