Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 16
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Assari, Shervin 2016. Combined Racial and Gender Differences in the Long-Term Predictive Role of Education on Depressive Symptoms and Chronic Medical Conditions. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities,

    Assari, Shervin and Lankarani, Maryam Moghani 2016. Race and Urbanity Alter the Protective Effect of Education but not Income on Mortality. Frontiers in Public Health, Vol. 4,

    Howard, Jeffrey T. and Sparks, P. Johnelle 2016. The Effects of Allostatic Load on Racial/Ethnic Mortality Differences in the United States. Population Research and Policy Review, Vol. 35, Issue. 4, p. 421.

    Kaya, Hatice Rider, Katherine E.B. Amdur, Richard L. Wulf-Gutierrez, Marian Smith, Jessica A. Al Ghamdi, Abdullah Maximos, Robert B. Das, Aparna Beyzaei-Arani, Arshan Ballarino, Guillermo Türkan, Hülya Bargoty, Bashar Ahari, Jalil and Gutierrez, Guillermo 2015. The effect of race on long term mortality in mechanically ventilated patients. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, Vol. 44, Issue. 4, p. 321.

    Masters, Ryan K. Link, Bruce G. and Phelan, Jo C. 2015. Trends in education gradients of ‘preventable’ mortality: A test of fundamental cause theory. Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 127, p. 19.

    Phelan, Jo C. and Link, Bruce G. 2015. Is Racism a Fundamental Cause of Inequalities in Health?. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 41, Issue. 1, p. 311.

    Sheehan, Connor M. Hummer, Robert A. Moore, Brenda L. Huyser, Kimberly R. and Butler, John Sibley 2015. Duty, Honor, Country, Disparity: Race/Ethnic Differences in Health and Disability Among Male Veterans. Population Research and Policy Review, Vol. 34, Issue. 6, p. 785.

    Anderson, Kathryn Freeman and Fullerton, Andrew S. 2014. Residential Segregation, Health, and Health Care: Answering the Latino Question. Race and Social Problems, Vol. 6, Issue. 3, p. 262.

    Anderson, Kathryn Freeman and Finch, Jessie K. 2014. Racially Charged Legislation and Latino Health Disparities: The Case of Arizona's S.B. 1070. Sociological Spectrum, Vol. 34, Issue. 6, p. 526.

    Beck, Audrey N. Finch, Brian K. Lin, Shih-Fan Hummer, Robert A. and Masters, Ryan K. 2014. Racial disparities in self-rated health: Trends, explanatory factors, and the changing role of socio-demographics. Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 104, p. 163.

    Blanco, Isabel Mathai, Stephen Shafiq, Majid Boyce, Danielle M. Kolb, Todd Chami, Hala K. Hummers, Laura Housten, Traci Chaisson, Neal L. Zaiman, Ari M. Wigley, Fredrick J. Tedford, Ryan A. Kass, David Damico, Rachel E. Girgis, Reda and M. Hassoun, Paul 2014. Severity of Systemic Sclerosis-Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in African Americans. Medicine, Vol. 93, Issue. 5, p. 177.

    Holmes, Christopher J. and Zajacova, Anna 2014. Education as “the Great Equalizer”: Health Benefits for Black and White Adults. Social Science Quarterly, p. n/a.

    Masters, Ryan K. Hummer, Robert A. Powers, Daniel A. Beck, Audrey Lin, Shih-Fan and Finch, Brian Karl 2014. Long-Term Trends in Adult Mortality for U.S. Blacks and Whites: An Examination of Period- and Cohort-Based Changes. Demography, Vol. 51, Issue. 6, p. 2047.

    Signorello, Lisa B. Cohen, Sarah S. Williams, David R. Munro, Heather M. Hargreaves, Margaret K. and Blot, William J. 2014. Socioeconomic Status, Race, and Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 104, Issue. 12, p. e98.

    Browne, Teri Pitner, Ronald and Freedman, Darcy A. 2013. When Identifying Health Disparities as a Problem Is a Problem: Pedagogical Strategies for Examining Racialized Contexts. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, Vol. 41, Issue. 4, p. 220.

    Hamilton, Erin Cardoso, Jodi Berger Hummer, Robert A. and Padilla, Yolanda C. 2011. Assimilation and emerging health disparities among new generations of U.S. children. Demographic Research, Vol. 25, p. 783.


RACE/ETHNICITY AND U.S. ADULT MORTALITY: Progress, Prospects, and New Analyses1

  • Robert A. Hummer (a1) and Juanita J. Chinn (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 15 April 2011

Although there have been significant decreases in U.S. mortality rates, racial/ethnic disparities persist. The goals of this study are to: (1) elucidate a conceptual framework for the study of racial/ethnic differences in U.S. adult mortality, (2) estimate current racial/ethnic differences in adult mortality, (3) examine empirically the extent to which measures of socioeconomic status and other risk factors impact the mortality differences across groups, and (4) utilize findings to inform the policy community with regard to eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in mortality. Relative Black-White differences are modestly narrower when compared to a decade or so ago, but remain very wide. The majority of the Black-White adult mortality gap can be accounted for by measures of socioeconomic resources that reflect the historical and continuing significance of racial socioeconomic stratification. Further, when controlling for socioeconomic resources, Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants exhibit significantly lower mortality risk than non-Hispanic Whites. Without aggressive efforts to create equality in socioeconomic and social resources, Black-White disparities in mortality will remain wide, and mortality among the Mexican-origin population will remain higher than what would be the case if that population achieved socioeconomic equality with Whites.

Corresponding author
Robert A. Hummer, Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, G1800, Austin, Texas 78752. E-mail:
Hide All

This research was supported by infrastructure grants 5 T32 HD007081, Training Program in Population Studies, and 5 R24 HD042849, Population Research Center, both awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. We also gratefully acknowledge support provided by a research grant from the National Institute for Minority and Health Disparities, 1 R01MD00425, principal investigator, Brian K. Finch.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D. Acevedo-Garcia , J. Pan , H. Jun , T. L. Osypuk , and K. M. Emmons (2005). The Effect of Immigrant Generation on Smoking. Social Science and Medicine, 61: 12231242.

P. Allison (1984). Event History Analysis: Regression for Longitudinal Event Data. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

E. Arias , K. Eschbach , W. S. Schauman , E. L. Backlund , and P. D. Sorlie (2010). The Hispanic Mortality Advantage and Ethnic Misclassification on U.S. Death Certificates. American Journal of Public Health, 100(S1): S171S177.

L. N. Borrell and N. D. Crawford (2009). All-Cause Mortality among Hispanics in the United States: Exploring Heterogeneity by Nativity Status, Country of Origin, and Race in the National Health Interview Survey-Linked Mortality Files. Annals of Epidemiology, 19: 336343.

L. M. Burton and M. B. Tucker (2009). Romantic Unions in an Era of Uncertainty: A Post-Moynihan Perspective on African American Women and Marriage. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Research, 621: 132149.

R. Cooper (1984). A Note on the Biological Concept of Race and Its Application in Epidemiological Research. American Heart Journal, 108: 715723.

C. G. Ellison , R. A. Hummer , S. Cormier , and R. G. Rogers (2000). Religious Involvement and Mortality Risk among African American Adults. Research on Aging, 22: 630667.

I. T. Elo and G. L. Drevenstedt (2004). Cause-specific Contributions to Black-White Differences in Male Mortality from 1960 to 1995. Demographic Research, Special Collection 2, Article 10: 255276.

C. Feliciano (2005). Educational Selectivity in U.S. Immigration: How Do Immigrants Compare to Those Left Behind? Demography, 42: 131152.

R. Frank , I. R. Akresh , and B. Lu (2010). Latino Immigrants and the U.S. Racial Order: How and Where Do They Fit In? American Sociological Review, 75: 378401.

P. Franks , P. Muennig , E. Lubetkin , and H. Jia (2006). The Burden of Disease Associated with Being African-American in the United States and the Contribution of Socio-economic Status. Social Science and Medicine, 62: 24692478.

S. Harper , J. Lynch , S. Burris , G. D. Smith (2007). Trends in the Black-White Life Expectancy Gap in the United States, 1983–2003. Journal of the American Medical Association, 297: 12241232.

R. A. Hummer (1996). Black-White Differences in Health and Mortality: A Review and Conceptual Model. The Sociological Quarterly, 37(1): 105125.

R. A. Hummer and E. R. Hamilton (2010). Race and Ethnicity and Fragile Families. Future of Children, 20(2): 113132.

J. S. Jackson , D. Hudson , K. Kershaw , B. Mezuk , J. Rafferty , and K. K. Tuttle (2011). Discrimination, Chronic Stress, and Mortality among Black Americans: A Life-Course Framework. In R. G. Rogers and E. M. Crimmins (Eds.), International Handbook of Adult Mortality, Chapter 15. New York: Springer Publishers (forthcoming).

R. S. Levine , J. E. Foster , R. E. Fullilove , M. T. Fullilove , N. C. Briggs , P. C. Hull , B. A. Husaini , and C. H. Hennekens (2001). Black-White Inequalities in Mortality and Life Expectancy, 1933–1999: Implications for Healthy People 2010. Public Health Reports, 116: 474483.

L. Lopez-Gonzalez , V. Aravena , and R. A. Hummer (2005). Immigrant Acculturation, Gender, and Health Behavior: A Research Note. Social Forces, 84: 581593.

J. Macinko and I. T. Elo (2009). Black-White Differences in Avoidable Mortality in the USA, 1980–2005. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63: 715721.

K. S. Markides and K. Eschbach (2011). Hispanic Paradox in Adult Mortality in the United States. In R. G. Rogers and E. M. Crimmins (Eds.) International Handbook of Adult Mortality, Chapter 14. New York: Springer Publishers (forthcoming).

S. S. McLanahan (2009). Fragile Families and the Reproduction of Poverty. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 621: 111131.

A. Palloni and E. Arias (2004). Paradox Lost: Explaining the Hispanic Adult Mortality Advantage. Demography, 41(3): 385415.

R. G. Rogers (1992). Living and Dying in the USA: Sociodemographic Determinants of Death among Blacks and Whites. Demography, 29: 287303.

R. G. Rogers , R. A. Hummer , P. Krueger , and F. Pampel (2005). Mortality Attributable to Cigarette Smoking in the United States. Population and Development Review, 31(2): 259292.

R. G. Rogers , R. A. Hummer , C. B. Nam , and K. Peters (1996). Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Behavioral Factors Affecting Ethnic Mortality by Cause. Social Forces, 74: 14191438.

R. Saenz and M. C. Morales (2005). Demography of Race and Ethnicity. In D. L. Poston and M. Micklin (Eds.) Handbook of Population, pp. 169206. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

D. Satcher , G. E. Fryer Jr., J. McCann , A. Troutman , S. H. Woolf , and G. Rust (2005). What If We Were Equal? A Comparison of the Black-White Mortality Gap in 1960 and 2000. Health Affairs, 24(2): 459464.

F. A. Sloan , P. Ayyagari , M. Salm , and D. Grossman (2010). The Longevity Gap Between Black and White Men in the United States at the Beginning and End of the 20th Century. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2): 357363.

Q. T. Stewart (2008). The Shape of Inequality: Racial Disparities in Age-Specific Mortality. Biodemography and Social Biology, 54: 152182.

S. J. Trejo (2003). Intergenerational Progress of Mexican-Origin Workers in the U.S. Labor Market. Journal of Human Resources, 38: 467489.

C. M. Turra and I. T. Elo (2008). The Impact of Salmon Bias on the Hispanic Mortality Advantage: New Evidence from Social Security Data. Population Research and Policy Review, 27(5): 515530.

D. R. Williams and P. B. Jackson (2005). Social Sources of Racial Disparities in Health. Health Affairs, 24(2): 325334.

D. R. Williams , S. A. Mohammed , J. Leavell , and C. Collins (2010). Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Health: Complexities, Ongoing Challenges, and Research Opportunities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1186: 69101.

D. R. Williams and M. Sternthal (2010). Understanding Racial-ethnic Disparities in Health: Sociological Contributions. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51(S): S15S27.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race
  • ISSN: 1742-058X
  • EISSN: 1742-0598
  • URL: /core/journals/du-bois-review-social-science-research-on-race
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *