The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses

Source: Committee on the Long-Run Macroeconomic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population; Committee on Population–Phase II; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, ISBN: 978-0-309-31707-8, 2015

From the abstract:
The U.S. population is aging. Social Security projections suggest that between 2013 and 2050, the population aged 65 and over will almost double, from 45 million to 86 million. One key driver of population aging is ongoing increases in life expectancy. Average U.S. life expectancy was 67 years for males and 73 years for females five decades ago; the averages are now 76 and 81, respectively. It has long been the case that better-educated, higher-income people enjoy longer life expectancies than less-educated, lower-income people. The causes include early life conditions, behavioral factors (such as nutrition, exercise, and smoking behaviors), stress, and access to health care services, all of which can vary across education and income.