From 2010 to 2019, the drug-related death rate among never-married prime-age white men increased some 125 percent: from 52 deaths per 100,000 to 117 (including 2020 would show an even steeper rise, but the pandemic affected Census data collection). If single and divorced prime-age white men had seen opioid deaths rise by only the same rate as those deaths rose among their married counterparts, the U.S. would have seen 38,800 fewer deaths from drug-related causes over the past decade just among this demographic group.
A marriage certificate is no prophylactic against the scourge of drug overdoses, of course. Marital status is correlated with income, race, and age; while death certificates don’t report income, we know that married decedents are more likely to be white, older, and better-educated. Controlling for those factors still shows single men to be at greater risk of dying from drug-related causes than married ones.
Author(s): Patrick T. Brown
Publication Date: 14 Jan 2022
Publication Site: City Journal