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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Trump, College America, and Non-College America

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the demographic divides of the 2016 campaign.  Those divides are evident in the latest ABC-WP survey on Trump approval ratings:

Blacks....................................06%
Hispanics..............................22%
White women college grads....40%
White women, not col. grad....51%
Men college graduates............54%
Men, not college grads............65%

From Defying the Odds:
The gap between college America and non-college America went beyond economic issues. It literally extended from birth to death.

In 2009, only 8 percent of college-educated white women were unwed when they gave birth, compared with 34 percent of white women with some college, and 51 percent of those with no more than a high school diploma. A 2015 survey found that 88 percent of children with least one college-graduate parent were living in a two-parent household, compared with 59 percent of those whose parents had only high school diploma and 54 percent of those whose parents did not finish high school.

There was a rise in the mortality of middle-aged (45 to 64) non-Hispanic whites between 1999 and 2013. (African Americans and Hispanics saw mortality rates fall.) This change stemmed mostly from drug and alcohol poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis. Mortality for those with a high school diploma or less increased by 134 per 100,000. Those with some college saw little change while with a bachelor’s degree or more saw death rates fall by 57 per 100,000.There was a similar pattern among younger people. The death rate for whites between the ages of 25 and 34 rose between 1990 and 2014. For those with a college degree, the increase was a modest 4 percent. For those without a high school education, it was 23 percent.

In other words, non-college families were less stable than college families, and they disproportionately suffered from substance abuse and other pathologies that showed up in death statistics. Accordingly, working class whites had a more negative view of American society than other groups.