How income affects our health

Life expectancy is the average time an organism is expected to live. Some countries have considerably higher life spans than others do. Take Monaco, for instance.

The second smallest country in the world boasts the highest life expectancy with citizens living an average of 89.4 years. Most African countries, on the other hand, where the living standards are relatively low having lower life expectancy ranging in the mid-forties.

Income directly affects one’s health because wealthier people can afford the resources that protect and improve health. In contrast to many low-income people, they tend to have jobs that are more stable and flexible.

These jobs provide good benefits like paid leave, health insurance and worksite wellness programs. They also tend to have fewer occupational hazards.

More affluent people have more disposable income and can afford medical care and a healthy lifestyle — benefits that also extend to their children.

However, it is easy to imagine how health is tied to income for the very poor or the very rich. The relationship between income and health is a gradient.

They are connected at every level of the economic ladder. Middle-class Kenyans are healthier than persons living in slums. They are in turn less healthy than the upper class living in well-gardened suburbs. 

Infant mortality and children’s health are also strongly linked to family income and maternal education. Rates of low birth weight are highest among infants born to low-income mothers.

Children in poor families are approximately four times as likely to be in poor or fair health compared to children in families with high incomes... to be continued.