By some measures, life has been getting better for ethnic minorities, gays, and others who have long felt marginalized in American society. Meanwhile, by one crucial measure, the death rate, life has been getting worse (or at least shorter) for middle-aged whites.
Simply put, middle-aged whites are dying at a higher rate each year, primarily from suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, and liver disease. It's most evident in those whose education did not extend beyond high school but is also seen in those with college degrees.
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