Geographic Variation in Public Health Spending

Correlates and Consequences

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This study of 2,900 local public health agencies examines how agency spending varies by community and over time. The study used three cross-sectional surveys of 2,900 local public health agencies in the United States that was conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials in 1993, 1997, and 2005, and which were linked with existing information on population demographics, socioeconomic characteristics, and health resources.

The study shows that spending of the top 20 percent of public health agencies was 13 times more than the bottom 20 percent, putting some communities at a disadvantage.

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