Health is about more than health care. Much of what influences our health happens outside the doctor’s office—in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. The 2012 County Health Calculator, an interactive app developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Human Needs, uses education and income to illustrate how these factors outside the health care system may affect our health.
Low education rates and inadequate income contribute to premature death, chronic disease, and spending on medical care. Prioritizing education and economic opportunity is an important strategy to save lives, improve health, and reduce spending on avoidable illnesses.
This app can help you understand—and demonstrate—how education and income affect health. Here’s how it works:
- Search by state or county. Searching by location lets you learn more about health in your state or county and compare it to health in other areas.
- Drag the sliders to see what health in your area could look like if more people had some college education or a higher income.
- See the change. As you move the slider, notice the changes in deaths per year, cases of diabetes, and costs of diabetes care. This shows you how health could be improved if more people had some college or a modest income.