Among the factors that contribute to health inequity is the quality and duration of education - from early childhood through post-secondary education and/or job training.
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.
All people need housing that is affordable, stable, and safe in order to support their optimal health. Housing instability often results in significant stress and the destabilization of many other aspects of a person’s life. When housing is not affordable, it tends to also be unstable. Lack of access to affordable housing limits housing choice and may result in people inhabiting places that are overcrowded, unsafe, unhealthy or lacking basic amenities.
Social isolation is a state in which a person lacks a sense of belonging, isn’t engaging with others, and has few social connections and quality relationships. Social isolation is associated with social problems and negative outcomes for people of all ages. Social connections help give our lives purpose and meaning. When we have family, friends, and coworkers to celebrate and commiserate with, and when we feel part of our communities, we live longer, healthier lives.
All communities need access to healthy foods and safe places to play and be active—but not all communities have equal access. Low-income communities, particularly communities of color, are more likely to lack access to healthy foods and safe places to play and be active.
There is a growing body of research that illustrates the connection between “place” and health – and it is well documented that a person’s zip code can influence health more than their genetic code. The commission to build a Healthy America tells us that our homes and communities have enormous impact on our health.