A college degree is now ‘a matter of life and death,’ says this Nobel Prize winner

Last year, Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton and his wife Anne Case, both emeritus professors at Princeton University, published “Deaths of Despair,” a much-acclaimed book that delved into why the mortality rate among non-Hispanic white Americans without a college degree has been rising, undoing a century of progress.

They recently released new research that looked at the data through the end of 2019 and into the pandemic and how “deaths of despair” have spread among other groups as well. Their grim finding: For white Americans aged 25-74 who don’t have a college degree, the alcohol-related mortality rate rose 41%, mortality from drugs soared 71% and the suicide rate climbed by 17% between 2013 and 2019. Some of those trends continued into the pandemic.

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