The economic burden of racial, ethnic, and educational health inequities in the US

Individual Author(s) / Organizational Author
Gaskin, Darrell
Perez-Stable, Eliseo
LaVeist, Thomas
Partners for Advancing Health Equity
December 2023
Abstract / Description

Health inequities impact more than just an individual’s health, they can have a lasting effect on various aspects of a society or community, including wide-reaching economic impacts. Health inequities exist for racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with lower educational attainment due to differential exposure to economic, social, structural, and environmental health risks and limited access to health care. According to a new Tulane University study published in JAMA, racial and ethnic health inequities cost the United States economy $451 billion in 2018, a sharp increase from the previous estimate of $320 billion in 2014. Researchers also found the total burden of education-related health inequities for persons with less than a college degree in 2018 reached $978 billion, about two times greater than the annual growth rate of the U.S. economy that same year. 


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