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Healthy Economy


Healthy Economy

A strong local economy builds household financial security for all and promotes everyone’s health.

On average, people live 19 years longer in high-income Atherton, where the median household income is around $250K versus East Palo Alto, where median household income is just over $67K.1,2

Access to income and wealth is one of the most important predictors of a person’s health. The less money a person makes, the less opportunity they are to be healthy. Despite being one the wealthiest counties in the nation, income inequality in San Mateo County is increasing. Blacks, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders experience higher rates of unemployment compared to Caucasians, largely due to low access to stable jobs and benefits. Stable employment, adequate income, and benefits can help build financial stability and improve overall health and well-being.

The Health Connection

Financial insecurity makes it difficult to afford and meet basic needs, leading to higher rates of depression and stress, and subsequently more health problems.

  • People with higher incomes and more wealth live longer.
  • Cardiovascular, asthma, obesity, overweight, and diabetes are highest among low-income people.3
  • Places with income equality tend to be healthier.4,5


  • People have the ability to increase household income and build financial security.
  • People have access to high-quality education and well-paying job opportunities (see Healthy Schools for more).
  • Small businesses are a vibrant and stable part of communities (see Healthy Neighborhoods for more).
  • Workers and business understand the benefits of sick leave, worksite safety precautions and flexible schedules.