Social Determinants of Health
Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. These conditions are known as Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).
We know that poverty limits access to healthy foods and safe neighborhoods and that more education is a predictor of better health. We also know that differences in health are striking in communities with poor SDOH such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education. By applying what we know about SDOH, we can not only improve individual and population health but also advance health equity. (Source: CDC)
Cost-burdened housing are housing units whose occupants spend 30% of more of their household income on housing costs. The percentage of cost-burdened housing was calculated from ACS Table B25106. The calculation sums all housing units where housing costs comprise 30% or more of the occupants' household income, and also sums households with zero or negative income. This sum is then divided by the total number of occupied housing units and multiplied by 100. For owner-occupied housing units, the costs are monthly owner costs; for renter-occupied units, the costs are gross rent.
Poverty and Child Poverty
The American Community Survey uses the federal poverty line threshold to determine poverty status for families and individuals. If a family's total income is less than the corresponding threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The data here is from Table S1701.
Poverty is an extreme condition. The National Center for Children in Poverty reported that the level of income families typically require to make ends meet is nearly twice the federal poverty thresholds. While the poverty thresholds are adjusted each year based on inflation, they do not reflect regional differences in cost of living: the poverty thresholds are the same everywhere in the United States. The Census states: "Although the thresholds in some sense reflect a family’s needs, they are intended for use as a statistical yardstick, not as a complete description of what people and families need to live."
Food insecurity measures the percent of households lacking consistent access to adequate healthy food. Households with extreme food insecurity may face hunger. The map below, based on data from Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap, compares rates of food insecurity across counties.
About the Data
• Cost-burdened housing data was calculated by LiveStories from ACS table B25106. The calculation sums all housing units where housing costs comprise 30% or more of the occupants' household income, and also sums households with zero or negative income. This sum is then divided by the total number of occupied housing units and multiplied by 100. For owner-occupied housing units, the costs are monthly owner costs; for renter-occupied units, the costs are gross rent.
• Poverty and child poverty rate data is from ACS table S1701.
• Food insecurity data are estimates published by Feeding America. Citation: Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, M. Kato, A. Crumbaugh & M. Strayer. The 2017 data is from: "Map the Meal Gap 2019: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2017." Feeding America, 2019. Details about their methodology can be found here.