The reporters on PBS News Hour seemed puzzled yesterday at reports of an increase in the mortality of middle aged white Americans without a college degree.
The report gave the ages between 45 and 54. This group roughly coincides with the group the Douglas Coupland referred to as Generation X. NOTE: The meaning of GenX changed. Coupland used it to refer to the people on the tail end of the Baby Boom ... those born between 1955-1965. The name GenX was too cool to waste on this group. Demographers now use GenX to describe those born between 1965-1980.
Coupland was dismissed as a whiner, but the group at the end of the baby boom (circa 1956 to circa 1965) was crunched by demographic trends.
People without a college education are more susceptible to negative trends. The lower economic spectrum is an indicator group.
Coupland's original thesis in "Generation X" was that the group at the tail end of the Baby boom was being crunched by demographic trends. The increase in mortality rates among this group vindicates this thesis.
That the term "Generation X" no longer refers to the group born between 1955 and 1965 but refers to the group born between 1965-1980 does not change the thesis.
Anyway, the increased mortality rate of people born on the tail end of the Babyboom was to be expected. I am not sure if it warrants much study. This same group is retiring at the tail end of the baby boom retirement. I suspect that college educated members of this X-ed group will have a higher mortality rate than the baby boomers.