Sociology, Department of



Marc A. Garcia

Date of this Version



Published in Research on Aging 2020, Vol. 42(7-8) 199–207



Copyright © 2020 Marc A. Garcia, Adriana M. Reyes, Catherine García, Chi-Tsun Chiu, and Grecia Macias. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission


This study examined racial/ethnic, nativity, and country of origin differences in life expectancy with and without functional limitations among older adults in the United States. We used data from the National Health Interview Survey (1999–2015) to estimate Sullivan-based life tables of life expectancies with functional limitations and without functional limitations by sex for U.S.-born Mexicans, foreign-born Mexicans, U.S.-born Puerto Ricans, island-born Puerto Ricans, foreign-born Cubans, and U.S.-born Whites. We find that Latinos exhibit heterogeneous life expectancies with functional limitations. Among females, U.S.-born Mexicans, foreign-born Mexicans, and foreign-born Cubans spend significantly fewer years without functional limitations, whereas island-born Puerto Ricans spend more years with functional limitations. For men, U.S.-born Puerto Ricans were the only Latino subgroup disadvantaged in the number of years lived with functional limitations. Conversely, foreign-born Cubans spend significantly fewer years without functional limitations. To address disparities in functional limitations, we must consider variation in health among Latino subgroups.