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Middle-Aged Americans Are Dying of Despair

Something truly disturbing is happening to middle-aged white Americans … A new study from two Princeton economists revealed that the mortality rate for white middle-aged Americans has risen half a percent annually between 1999 and 2013—the equivalent of 500,000 additional deaths, or about 40 times the number of dead in West Africa's Ebola epidemic.

"What's killing these Americans is even more disturbing," concludes an article on The Atlantic. "It's suicide, alcohol, and drug poisonings. As manufacturing and construction jobs have evaporated and wages have stagnated, blue-collar workers have turned to alcohol and opioids to numb their misery. To put it bluntly: 'Middle-aged white Americans are dying of despair.'" These men expected to lead better lives than their parents. As a New York Times article noted, "We're looking at people who were raised to believe in the American Dream, and are coping badly with its failure to come true."

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