FIGURE 1-2 Death rates per 100,000 by race and ethnicity: Females 65 years and older, 1999.

SOURCE: Derived by Hummer et al. (2004) from Hoyert et al. (2001).

For other minorities, official statistics suggest that individuals 65 years and older have lower mortality rates than whites. In some cases, this minority advantage stands up under scrutiny; in others, it does not, or may still be questionable, as data limitations have been less studied among other minorities than among blacks.

Mortality rates for Hispanics appear to be biased downward, but corrected rates are still lower than those for whites. The Hispanic mortality advantage is not consistent over the life course. Hispanics have similar mortality levels to whites in infancy but 24 percent higher levels at 20-24, with this disadvantage decreasing and turning into an advantage in late adulthood (Hummer et al., 2004; Liao et al., 1998, Rogers et al., 2000). Among Hispanic subgroups, Puerto Ricans show this pattern most clearly, with a substantial mortality disadvantage relative to whites, greater than that for blacks, at ages 18-44 (whether or not socioeconomic factors are controlled), still some disadvantage at ages 45-64, and a small nonsignificant advantage at ages 65 and older (Rogers et al., 2000).

One factor to keep in mind, therefore, is the fact that comparisons at

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