Health as a dimension of poverty

Increasing and substantial evidence suggests income and health are inextricably linked. Poor health outcomes for millions of Americans are rooted in political, social and economic injustices. Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor health. Poverty also increases the chances of poor health, which in turn, traps individuals in poverty.

Income inequality is a mechanism which affects health and wellness, specifically for Black and Brown communities. Low income and ethnic minority communities are burdened with greater rates of disease, limited access to health care and health disparities.

In Cuyahoga County, infant mortality is one of the highest in the nation. In 2018, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for African Americans was 15.6 percent, while the rate for white infants was 4.6 per every 1,000 births, According to a static found by Center for Community Solutions.

Census data also suggests the highest life expectancy for residents in Shaker Heights in 23 years greater than those who live in the Buckeye-Wood-Hill neighborhood, two communities that are less than 2 miles apart from each other.

Not all neighborhoods are created with equal opportunities for residents to live healthy lives, but addressing health care access, payment, policies and delivery system reforms for low-income population can improve the social determinants of health, including income and housing across the nation.