Median Household Income is the income amount where one half of all households within the designated geographic area have income above and one half have income below that amount.
Median household income is an indicator of earnings within a community. It is a standard measure used to understand the amount of financial wealth. It has been widely observed that poverty has been linked to ill health and vice versa, creating a cycle between income and health that can continue across lifetimes and generations1. Lower income communities have shown higher rates of asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and child poverty. They are also more likely to have substandard housing, underfunded schools, poor access to grocery stores and supermarkets, and to be located near toxic industries and other sources of pollution2. Conversely, higher income makes it easier to buy medical insurance and medical care, nutritious foods, and better child care, and to live in a safe neighborhood with good schools and recreational facilities1. Income levels have also been correlated to life expectancy, with lower income earners experiencing lower life expectancies3.
1 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. http://www.commissiononhealth.org/Income.aspx
2 California Newsreel, Nationality Minority Consortia, Joint Center Health Policy Institute. Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/resources.php?topic_id=6
3 California Newsreel, Nationality Minority Consortia, Joint Center Health Policy Institute. Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/resources.php?topic_id=7