Social & Economic Factors

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Social and economic factors affect how well and how long we live. Social and economic factors include factors such as income, education, employment, community safety and social support. The choices that are available in a community are impacted by social and economic factors. These choices include our abilities to afford medical care and housing and to manage stress.

Social and economic opportunities help communities live longer and healthier lives. For example, a living wage shapes opportunities for housing, education, child care, food and medical care.

We do not always think about social and economic factors when we think about health. However, strategies to improve these factors can have a greater impact on health than strategies that target individual behaviors.

Communities that have been cut off from investments or who have experienced discrimination have fewer social and economic opportunities. These gaps disproportionately affect people of color and people living in rural areas. Children may be especially impacted.

Social and Economic Factors include: