Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


You are here: Home / MPRC People / Philip Cohen, Ph.D. / Philip Cohen Publications / The rising marriage mortality gap among Whites

Philip N Cohen (2019)

The rising marriage mortality gap among Whites


Although the decline in marriage has been cited as a possible contributor to the “despair” afflicting marginalized White communities, these studies have not directly considered mortality by marital status. This paper uses complete death certificate data from the Mortality Multiple Cause Files with American Community Survey data to examine age-specific mortality rates for married and non-married people from 2007 to 2017. The overall rise in White mortality is limited almost exclusively to those who are not married, for men and women. By comparison, mortality for Blacks and Hispanics has fallen or remained flat regardless of marital status (except for young, single Hispanic men). Analysis by education level shows death rates have risen most for Whites with the lowest education, but have also increased for those with high school or some college. Because mortality has risen faster for unmarried Whites at all but the lowest education levels, there has been an increase in the marriage mortality ratio. Mortality differentials are an increasingly important component of the social hierarchy associated with marital status.

Family Science, Gender, Family, and Social Change, Family formation, Cohen, Family, Featured, Marriage, Sociology, Poverty
Inequality, Population, Family, Mobility, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, Poverty

Document Actions