Wealthy people possess more than just spending power. They also have more time to live than poor people do, a new study has found.
The wealthiest people in the United Kingdom live longer than the poor, according to a new study from the U.K.-based Longevity Science Advisory Panel. Male higher managers and professionals in the U.K. have a life expectancy of 83.8 years, and female higher managers and professionals can expect to live 86.7 years, in contrast to workers with routine tasks who die about three years earlier.
The study found that the longevity gap has widened between the rich and poor over time. While male lower management and higher management had virtually the same life expectancy in the early 1980s, now their longevity gap has widened to almost a year, according to the study. Similarly, while male workers with routine tasks died two years earlier than male higher managers in the early 1980s, now male workers with routine tasks die 3.5 years earlier than male higher managers on average, according to the study.
The study said that poorer people die earlier because they tended to lead less healthy lifestyles. The study pointed to less access to health services, alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity as leading to lower life expectancy.
Other studies have found that rich people live longer than the poor. A 2008 study by the Congressional Budget Office found that the life expectancy gap between the rich and poor in the United States, as well as the educated and less educated, has been growing since the 1980s. The highest socioeconomic groups in 2000 could expect to live 1.9 years longer than the lowest socioeconomic groups. That longevity gap had risen 1.6 years since 1980.
Rich people live longer than the poor in Asia as well as the Western world. The Korean National Pension Research Institute found in early 2011 that Koreans in the upper half of the income bracket live four years longer than Koreans in the bottom half, according to The Korea Times.
There also is biological proof that the rich age more slowly. Wealthier people apparently produce more of a hormone that has been linked to higher life expectancy, according to University College London researchers cited by The Telegraph.