Education and Mortality Risk among Hispanic Adults in the United States

Sarah McKinnon, University of Texas at Austin
Robert A. Hummer, University of Texas at Austin

A substantial amount of demographic research has focused on the epidemiologic paradox, the finding that, in spite of a socioeconomic status (SES) that is similar to blacks, Hispanics demonstrate mortality rates more similar to whites. However, this research has tended to focus on aggregate-levels of socioeconomic status and has neglected to measure the direct effect of SES for Hispanics. Thus, the primary purpose of this study is to quantify the individual-level effect that education has on Hispanic mortality risk so that we can determine if, indeed, SES has less of an impact on Hispanics than on other groups. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey-Multiple Cause of Death linked data set for 1986 to 1997 we conclude that the effect of education on the risk of death is substantially different (weak and nonsignificant) for most Hispanic groups compared with its effect on non-Hispanic whites and blacks (strong and significant).

  See paper

Presented in Session 8: Race, Ethnicity, and Health