Geography And Income Can Affect One's Life Span

By Catherine Brown, Parent Herald April 13, 12:00 am
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General health is a sensitive and complex issue. One's health is affected by several factors, including income and geography. A new study suggests that these factors, income and geography contribute to one's life span.

Income and Geography Influence Your Lifespan

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that one's income level and the place where he lives matter for a longer or shorter life span.

A higher income level does not guarantee longer and healthier lives. Although wealthier people have more edge because they have the means, location matters because access to health care is another factor. Poorer Americans who were associated with shorter life spans almost did well as their richer counterparts if they live in wealthy cities like San Francisco, which offers easy access to health information and social welfare services.

Details of the Study

The study examined the link between longevity and income using the Social Security Administration death records and by gathering information in 1999 to 2014. The data revealed that wealthy individuals live 15 years longer than their poor counterparts.

Meanwhile, richer women live ten years longer. The analysis also revealed that the life expectancy gap increases during the 2000s. From 2001 to 2014, higher-income men gained an average of 0.2 years while their low-income counterparts only gained 0.08 years, Smithsonian.com reported.

For instance, in New York, New York; San Francisco, California; Dallas, Texas; and Detroit, Michigan, the life expectancy of low-income men ranges from 72.3 years to 78.6 years while men with high-income have a life expectancy of 86.5 years to 87.5

According to The New York Post, poor men and women live the longest in New York City, San Jose, Calif., Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego and Miami. Meanwhile, they live the shortest at Gary, Ind., Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Tulsa, Okla. and Las Vegas.

Tim Worstall of Forbes has something to say about the study. According to him, the Social Security Administration death records only examine the place of death. Thus, the study failed to measure the life expectancy by one's place of birth or current residence. For instance, it is possible that one lives in New York and retires or dies in Florida. Given this, it could change the data points for both regions.

Do you agree with Tim Worstall's observation? How about the data, do you agree that there are certain cities where poor individuals survive longer? Share your thoughts below.

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