Murray analyzed mortality data between 1982 and 2001 by county, race, gender and income. He found some distinct groupings that he named the "eight Americas:"
Asian-Americans, average per capita income of $21,566, have a life expectancy of 84.9 years.
Northland low-income rural whites, $17,758, 79 years.
Middle America (mostly white), $24,640, 77.9 years.
Low income whites in Appalachia, Mississippi Valley, $16,390, 75 years.
Western American Indians, $10,029, 72.7 years.
Black Middle America, $15,412, 72.9 years.
Southern low-income rural blacks, $10,463, 71.2 years.
High-risk urban blacks, $14,800, 71.1 years.The differences are stark and astounding. I would speculate that most people have some intuitive sense of their likely lifespan, and act accordingly. If I'm likely to live to be 85 or 90, I'll probably save like a madman. If I'm convinced that I'll die by the time I hit 70, it would be irrational to do so.