Health of the States

State and local policy decisions can significantly affect disease rates, life expectancy, and the cost of health care—even when those decisions are not directly tied to health policy. Through this project, we analyze state-level data on health systems, health behaviors, social and economic factors, the physical and social environment, and public policies. We use that information to catalog the health status of the states. We also feature select US cities to show that similar influences shape health outcomes locally.

Income Health Initiative

Working in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health, we are delving into the powerful connections between income and health. The biggest differences in disease rates and life expectancy are less about the medical care we get from doctors and hospitals and more about our social status, including our jobs, income, and wealth. The health implications of these factors are so large that economic policies may be more important to public health than any kind of health care reform.