In this engaging and accessibly written book, Population Health in America weaves demographic data with social theory and research to help students understand health patterns and trends in the U.S. population. While life expectancy was estimated to be just 37 years in the United States in 1870, today it is more than twice as long, at over 78 years. Yet today, life expectancy in the U.S. lags behind almost all other wealthy countries. Within the U.S., there are substantial social inequalities in health and mortality: women live longer but less healthier lives than men; African Americans and Native Americans live far shorter lives than Asian Americans and White Americans; and socioeconomic inequalities in health have been widening over the past 20 years. What accounts for these population health patterns and trends?
Inviting students to delve into population health trends and disparities, demographers Robert Hummer and Erin Hamilton provide an easily understandable historical and contemporary portrait of U.S. population health. Perfect for courses such as population health, medical or health sociology, social epidemiology, health disparities, demography, and others, as well as for academic researchers and lay persons interested in better understanding the overall health of the country, Population Health in America also challenges students, academics, and the public to understand current health policy priorities and to ask whether considerably different directions are needed.