A healthier, longer life: maybe the best argument for sending the kids to college

There’s been a lot written about how people with college degrees outearn those with only a high-school diploma, and how high-school grads outearn those who didn’t finish school. But did you know that educated Americans are less likely to be obese and suffer from chronic illnesses than those who have less education? The evidence is pretty darn compelling–compelling enough to get me to stop complaining quite so much about how much my kids’ college tuition is.

The study, produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the role that socioeconomic status plays in our health. Here are a few fascinating highlights:

  • In 2006, the average 25-year-old man without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 9.3 years less than men with a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Women without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 8.6 years less than those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.