Although longevity has increased in the United States as a whole since 1990, the gap in life expectancy between Americans with the least and the most education is widening, according to research by scholars in the MacArthur Research Network on an Aging Society
. Two Americas
, a report published in Health Affairs,
finds that black men with fewer than 12 years of education can expect to live 14.2 fewer years than white men with 16 years of education. Similarly, white women with 16 years of schooling can expect 10.3 more years of life than black women with fewer than 12 years of school. The report stresses the importance of lifelong learning and an improved education system to avoid an increasingly polarized America, where only those with the most education experience longer life spans.