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New York Outpaces California in Reducing Black/White Life Expectancy Gap

A new study by researchers at McGill University finds that more needs to be done to reduce the wide variability among U.S. states in life expectancy between blacks and whites.

While racial differences in longevity have dropped across the country, the study authors say there are still sharp differences in how long blacks and whites live in many of the states and the District of Columbia.

The researchers used data from the National Vital Statistics System, which is administered by the National Center for Health Statistics and collects information on all deaths occurring in the United States each year. During the twenty-year study period, the national life expectancy gap between blacks and whites dropped by 2.7 years for men and by 1.7 years for females. The estimated state-specific racial gap in life expectancy among males in 1990 ranged from 14.4 years the District of Columbia to 0.0 years in New Hampshire. (no similar comparison data in the study for females.)