It’s a commonplace that poverty is a major detriment to health. But what about income and wealth inequality, apart from poverty per se? Both cross-national studies and ones focused specifically on the United States arrive at the same definitive conclusion – Inequality in and of itself is harmful to your health.
In the U.S., people living in more equal states enjoy longer life spans, one of the best indicators of overall health there is. Residents of Hawaii, which has a relatively equitable income distribution, on average live seven years longer than residents of Mississippi, marked by one of the nation’s more extreme unequal distributions of wealth income.
So: Is it the fried food, or the absence of solidarity, that’s really killing us?