Tag Archives: inequality

Babies or bust? What new data on millennial birth rates means for the future

Photo: H is for Home via Flickr

Photo: H is for Home via Flickr

It’s no secret that raising children is an expensive proposition. But for millennials, who entered adulthood during the worst economic slump since the Great Depression, the 2007-09 recession appears to have done a double-whammy on their decision to enter parenthood.

A recent study by the Urban Institute found that women in their 20s had fewer babies amid the soft economy than those in previous decades. And while it is still too early to know whether they will “catch up” by having children later, the paper written by Nan Marie Astone, Steven Martin and H. Elizabeth Peters raises questions about the implications such a population dip both can have not only on U.S. families but also upward mobility and society. Continue reading

NYT maps how high health gaps lower the odds

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). US Health Map. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington, 2014. Available from http://vizhub.healthdata.org/us-health-map. (Accessed 4/14/2015)

Image: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). US Health Map. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington, 2014. (Accessed 4/14/2015)

The impact of “income inequality” has been given a closer examination since the recession and is teeing up as a potential catchphrase in the 2016 election.

While poorer pockets of the United States is a well-known factor that can lead to poor health (among other issues), less clear has been the ramifications of living somewhere home to both the wealthy and those the low-income, thus creating a gap. Continue reading

Interventions might alleviate poverty’s impact on child health


Image by Victor Bonomi via flickr.

We know that about 45 percent of American kids are growing up in families that are poor or near poor, and that this degree of social inequality helps explain why the health status of Americans is failing to keep up with progress in other wealthy nations.

But how to make things better is not so clear, I insisted in a recent post. I may have spoken too soon. There is now solid evidence from a long-running study in North Carolina that early childhood programs can produce health benefits that persist into adulthood. Continue reading

Series on income inequality explores the health consequences

Image by Images_of_Money via flickr.

Image by Images_of_Money via flickr.

The greatest public health problem is not heart disease. It’s not cancer. And it’s not mental health.

It’s inequality. That’s according to a Canadian health policy analyst quoted by André Picard in a notable series in the Toronto-based newspaper The Globe and Mail.

The Globe‘s Wealth Paradox series, published over two weeks in November, explores how Canada’s increasing wealth gap is reshaping society and putting future generations at a disadvantage. The Globe being a business newspaper, the series makes a business case for taking the threat seriously. It’s full of story ideas that can be transposed onto U.S. turf.

Picard’s piece, Wealth begets health: Why universal medical care only goes so far, dug into the heavy health impact of income inequality despite Canada’s longstanding provision of medical care to all: Continue reading

Homeless man teaches MD about inequalities

The Chicago Tribune‘s Judith Graham tells the story of a doctor who befriended a homeless man who sold StreetWise magazine at a local pharmacy, then offered him a place to live. As the doctor has worked to help his friend achieve financial independence, he has learned to view health care inequalities from a different perspective.

Now (Dr. Allen) Goldberg uses insights from (Everett) Atkinson — for example, how African-Americans in poor communities can distrust white doctors — in his volunteer work in tough city neighborhoods. “He helps me understand a lot because who knows better about being disadvantaged?” Goldberg said.

Goldberg said he’d never been exposed to true poverty before, and that the exposure has changed his thinking and informed his approach to medical outreach.

The doctor said he’s learned the need to listen to other people deeply, carefully and without judgment — a lesson he’s using in volunteer work with the Chicago Asthma Consortium. The group plans “listening sessions” with residents of poor neighborhoods this year about ways to reduce asthma’s burden.