AARP International

Share This

Closing the longevity gap requires new ways of thinking, seeing the complex web of factors that contribute to inequity, and identifying solutions to address those factors. To do this, we’ve convened experts from a wide variety of disciplines to help answer a powerful, yet simple question: 

How might we make longevity more equitable for all?

Join us, alongside our contributors, in understanding the challenge and taking action in closing the longevity gap.

Read full PDF

The Longevity Gap

   This past year has laid bare and accelerated longstanding inequities in our nation. We need to harness the energy of this moment and the movements it has sparked to lead people to bolder and braver action.


Headshot of Tawanna Black

Tawanna Black

Founder and CEO, Center for Economic Inclusion

Read full bio  

Headshot of Laura Carstensen

Laura Carstensen

Director Stanford Center on Longevity

Read full bio  

Headshot of Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney

Founder, Daphne Foundation, Fork Filmsk

Read full bio  

Headshot of Cheryl Dorsey

Cheryl Dorsey

President, Echoing Green

Read full bio  

Headshot of Helene Gayle

Helene Gayle, MD

President and CEO, Chicago Community Trust

Read full bio  

Headshot of Rishi Manchada

Rishi Manchada, MD MPH

President and CEO, Health Begins

Read full bio  

Headshot of Wes Moore

Wes Moore

CEO, Robin Hood

Read full bio  

Headshot of Liz Ogbu

Liz Ogbu

Principal, Studio O

Read full bio  

Headshot of Brent Orrell

Brent Orrell

Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Read full bio  

Headshot of James Johnson-Plett

James Johnson-Piett

Founder, Urbane Development

Read full bio  

Headshot of Ari Wallach

Ari Wallach

Executive Director, Longpath

Read full bio  

Headshot of Shelley Zalis

Shelley Zalis

CEO, The Female Quotient

Read full bio  

There is no single driver of the longevity gap in the United States. It is fueled and maintained by an intersecting array of factors. In order to understand—and eventually close—the gap, we must look at it through a series of lenses.

Financial Properity

Recent events have reaffirmed the importance of economic security. In America, the type of job you work, and the amount of wealth you amass, has a distinct correlation to the number of years you will live.


Where you’re born, where you’re raised, and where you live has a profound effect on your longevity. In the United States, policies both past and present have created stark disparities across geographic lines.

Social Connection

The strength and depth of your relationships have a huge impact on your day-to-day life—and they also affect your long-term health.


At the end of the day, your health is the most important driver of longevity. Anything that makes it harder for us to get healthy, stay healthy, or recover when we’re sick will inevitably widen the longevity gap.

Race & Social Justice

Racism and discrimination drive and exacerbate many of the inequities we see in the United States. The longevity gap is no exception.

Building equitable longevity in the United States requires bold and collective action. Here are a series of provocations and strategies for closing the longevity gap that were generated by our conversations with thought leaders across a variety of topics and sectors.

  • Creating pathways to wealth
  • Designing with those in the margins
  • Rethinking community investment
  • Distributing power to workers
  • Measuring outcomes not outputs
  • Collaborating across sectors
  • Taking the long view
  • Strengthening social bonds
  • Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion