Education Usually Improves Health. But Racism Sabotages Benefits For Black Men

Updated: May 21, 2021

More education typically leads to better health, yet Black men in the U.S. are not getting the same benefit as other groups, research suggests.

The reasons for the gap are vexing, experts say, but may provide an important window into unique challenges Black men face as they try to gain not only good health but also equal footing in the U.S.

Generally, higher education means better paying jobs and health insurance, healthier behaviors and longer lives. This is true across nearly all demographic groups. And studies show life expectancy is higher for Black men with a college degree or higher, compared with those who have not finished high school.

But the increase is not as big as it is for whites. This comes on top of the many health obstacles Black men already face. They are more likely to die from chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer than white men, and their average life expectancy is lower. Experts point to a