According to data from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (RWJF), it really is simple: adult life expectancy increases with increasing income. People in the highest-income group can expect to live at least six and a half years longer than poor men and women.
A study this year in the journal Nature Neuroscience found that poor children, on average, actually have smaller brains than affluent ones. Poor parents are less likely to read to and talk with their children. Violence is far more common in areas of concentrated poverty than in other places, and the prevalence of violence has many negative consequences for its victims and their neighborhoods and families. New York University sociologist Patrick Sharkey concludes that "the effect of being raised in a family that lives in a poor neighborhood over two consecutive generations is roughly equivalent to missing two to four years of schooling."
Access to steady employment directly affects an individual or family’s ability to maintain healthy living standards. Financial stability provided by employment as well as the use of available government benefits such as SNAP and Medicaid, allows individuals and families to access health insurance, healthy food, safe and affordable housing, all of which contributes to one’s overall health. High unemployment rates, and low income have also been shown to be associated with poorer health outcomes. There is evidence that working with individuals to acquire the necessary training and resources to find steady employment, leads to increased access to health services and environments.